0 TGA responds to Environment Minister’s comments on climate change

The Turfgrass Growers' Association (TGA) is to write to the Environment Minister, Ian Pearson, drawing attention to the way consumers have benefited from its members' proactive attitude towards climate change, following a speech made during his visit to The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew on Monday.

Mr Pearson said that the English lawn is "under threat" and that in the future, Britain's 27 million gardening enthusiasts will have to choose drought-resistant Mediterranean plants and use watering cans instead of hosepipes.

Tim Mudge, Chief Executive of the TGA and a member of the 2012 'Greening the Games' committee, welcomes the Minister's foresight. "It's important that consumers and turf professionals alike consider the affects of our changing climate on turf and plantlife. UK turf growers, working in conjunction with seed breeders, have been working together for many years now to produce new turf grasses which are not just resistant to drought, but shade, wet, salty coastal conditions and critically, to disease.

Warning gardeners of the need to adapt following months of serious drought, Mr Pearson also suggested that the severity of pest and disease attacks, storms and flash floods will increase and causing plant damage and washed out soils at more than 27,000 gardens, parks and other green areas of national, regional and local importance.

There are wide regional differences, with parts of the country seeing drier summers and winters, while others were experiencing wetter conditions, and the UK turf industry is successfully producing cultivated turf to cater for all circumstances.

Mudge added: "There's no need for consumers to look to the Mediterranean for good quality turf. Our growers, together with industry partners, have adapted their cultivation techniques, harvesting methods and product offering to ensure that customers can buy turf locally that's suitable for the environment it will grow in, however challenging."

The administration of the TGA is handled by the Processed Vegetable Growers Association (PVGA). Tim Mudge (01507 607722) from the PVGA will gladly provide further comment on matters concerning natural turf and the TGA.

The Turfgrass Growers Association is the only body in the UK and Ireland dedicated to the advancement of quality turf production. It's constantly seeking to improve the standards of its members through unity and the sharing of knowledge for the benefit of customers.

Formed in 1994, it comprises some 39 members and 20 affiliates, collectively responsible for producing approximately 70% of the cultivated turf grown in the British Isles.

More information at www.turfgrass.co.uk.
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