Keep your green spaces looking pristine, even when you require regular vehicle parking
If you find you or others are parking regularly on the grassy areas of your garden or outdoor space, you might have considered concreting or asphalting over the grass to make for a more permanent (and lower maintenance) foundation. On the other hand, it’s often desirable to keep as much natural ground in place as you can – and it’s now possible thanks to grass protection methods.
Hard surface run off
As towns and cities expand, increasing amounts of absorbent surfaces such as grassed areas are being covered with hard surfaces. The more of these unforgiving surfaces that are created, the less natural ground there is to naturally absorb rainwater; this increases the risks of overloading the drains with water running off non-absorbent surfaces after periods of prolonged or heavy rain.
It’s one factor why there has been more flooding in built up areas in recent times after prolonged rainfalls. Some drainage systems can’t cope with increased levels of water running into them off hard surfaces where previously it would have been naturally absorbed into the ground.
Therefore, if it’s possible to preserve naturally absorbent ground then it’s worthwhile even if there is parking pressure on the land. Along with the environmental aspect in terms of drainage, there’s also the aesthetic of natural grass suiting certain areas better than more and more areas being concreted or asphalted over.
Certain rural locations such as small villages with perhaps limited off road parking could be spoilt by the addition of swathes of concrete and asphalt, but at the same time a way of keeping increased numbers of vehicles from being parked on the sides of narrow country roads may be required.
The problem is, of course, that wet ground can soon deteriorate when vehicles manoeuvre and park frequently on it – but there is a solution.
Grass reinforcement options
Companies such as Essex-based Neograss specialise in providing ways of preserving grass through the use of highly durable matting and various types of plastic mesh that adds strength and durability to natural grass.
Mats – ground protection mats provide a temporary or more permanent solution. Made of highly durable HDPE (high density polyethylene) plastic, the 2.4 by 1.1 metre mats sit on top of grass or harder surfaces.
More can be added and linked together with interconnections as and when more parking area is required, and they’re simple enough to take up when all or some of the area is no longer required for parking.
Mesh – available in various thicknesses, this plastic mesh has a honeycombed look and is designed to make grass more able to stand up to parking without disintegrating.
The beauty with this mesh is you can preserve the look of natural grass but add considerably to its strength so making for a longer-term parking option. It sits on the existing grass and is held in place by steel u-pins; after a while the grass grows through each hole causing the mesh to ‘disappear’ into the grass. At this stage, it’s ready to have vehicles parked on it.
Its life expectancy is at least 15 to 20 years, it won’t degrade or rot, and its honeycomb construction means it won’t affect the permeability of the grass so making for efficient, natural drainage capable of meeting sustainable drainage system (SUDS) requirements.
Keeping it green
Along with preserving domestic gardens and natural grassed areas even when regular parking is required, mesh is a proven solution for car parks in locations such as tourist attractions. Rather than having to cover over grass with concrete or asphalt to extend a car park, some sites use mesh in existing grass to attractively and efficiently create more parking.