Plants Trap Pollution

04 May 2021

The type of plant makes a big difference.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) scientists, who shortly will be moving into their new centre at Wisley, have been studying the most effective plants to remove pollution from the environment.

The biggest environmental risk in the United Kingdom has been identified as poor air quality. One in three people in the UK are impacted by air pollution.

The RHS scientists have concluded that the bushy, hairy-leafed Cotoneaster franchetii is the latest ‘super plant’ to help boost the environment and improve human health.

The Cotoneaster is at least 20% more effective at soaking up pollution compared to other shrubs.

A new RHS science paper that looks at the effectiveness of hedges as air pollution barriers reveals that in traffic hotspots, the Cotoneaster franchetii (Franchet’s cotoneaster) is at least 20% more effective at soaking up pollution compared to other shrubs.

The RHS have discovered that in just seven days a one metre length of well-managed dense hedge will mop up the same amount of pollution that a car emits over a 500 mile drive.

The RHS is now examining ivy wall-cover to cool down building facades, and the use of hawthorn and privet hedges to slow strong rainfalls and associated flooding.

Should we have planting around the Guildford One Way System?

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