Would you turn down a 24:1 return on investment? By MAGGIE FENNELL, Product Development Manager at Boningale Nurseries
[THERE IS INCREASING evidence that well
designed and managed green spaces will provide at least a £24 cost saving for every £1 spent on them. What’s the catch? This is an area attracting lots of research, but it is difficult to model, largely because soft landscapes are more versatile and changeable than hard landscapes. What exactly counts as a well-managed landscape? Does a wildflower meadow always provide better returns than a lawn? These answers depend on tailoring the landscape to the needs of relevant users. To harness maximum potential value, a public green space or park needs to attract as many different types of people as possible. It needs to be safe, welcoming and appropriate for the needs of the local community. If you are creating a green space for your office premises, ensure that it provides the best possible views of nature for workers and clients, breakout spaces for workers to socialise, bicycle parking and access, and information about habitat features.
Many of the studied benefits are expressed in terms of cost savings to public services, but one of the most exciting aspects is the increase in productivity. When you create your green space, observe the drop in sick days or GP visits, and monitor the improved concentration and wellbeing of staff or residents who are using green areas. Mental health improvements and stress alleviation are worth tracking because increased access to nature lowers cortisol levels. Boningale provides one crucial ingredient of this recipe for success: the plants. Our work with the University of Sheffield has established some of the best ways to optimise roof space with plug planting. We now offer a low maintenance planting system, combining the aesthetic values of particular perennial and wildflower species with the water management performance of engineered substrate. This provides maximum environmental and social gains, even in awkward spaces (as pictured). Ask our commercial horticultural experts about
anything from green roof planting to the best tree species for car parks and urban streets. This will ensure you are getting the best value for money from every square metre of your property’s footprint. q • Albrighton-based Boningale Nurseries is an award-winning national plant supplier to commercial landscaping projects, and is at the forefront of green roofing innovations and other pioneering environmental landscaping systems. For further information, contact Maggie Fennell on 01902 376500 or visit www.boningale.co.uk