Ban on gravel garden in more and more cities

They became known under the slogan “gardens of horror”: lots of gravel covered with slabs, some even decorated with plastic plants. The city of Nuremberg now bans such gravel gardens – and it is not alone in that. For good reasons.

They offer neither animals nor plants a home, they heat settlements and are aesthetically very controversial: gravel gardens. The city Nuremberg has large gardens covered with stones, gravel, boulders or gravel now prohibited for new buildings. The Middle Franconian city is not the only one to have taken this decision: “Every week, every month, some municipalities are added,” sums up Matthias Simon of the Bavarian city council.

“The desire for regulation in many cities and communities in Bavaria and throughout Germany is there and in some cases is great, because gravel gardens, compacted rock gardens, slabs or whatever you want to call them, are a problem in terms of biodiversity, indoor climate and building culture “enumerates Simone.

Horror Gardens: This is why gravel gardens are an ecological fiasco

While the aesthetic aspect of the surface design, which has received inglorious honor on the Internet as “horror gardens”, can ultimately be contested, it is undisputed that gravel gardens are a The biodiversity fiasco I am. In a multifaceted garden it buzzes and buzzes, flutters and runs. According to the nature conservation association NABU, even reptiles don’t feel comfortable in monotonous areas.

Furthermore, stony deserts heat up a lot when exposed to the sun, while at the same time the cooling effect of the plants is missing, which are not even responsible for filtering. particulate matter be available. In addition, highly compacted gravel gardens, mostly lined with fleece, hardly let water drain, which can lead to flooding in heavy rain, for example. These are all aspects that are seen as a problem with regards to climate change.

Nuremberg: The gravel garden ban comes into effect from June

Many garden owners opt for stone deserts instead of green spaces. (Photo: Annette Riedl / dpa)

Bavarian city and town councils therefore rely on good arguments when they ban gravel gardens. In Nuremberg, for example, this regulation will apply to all new construction projects starting in June – not only for new development plans, but also for the development of free lots.

“Good greening and high-quality open space design serve the healthy living and working environment and an attractive urban landscape and make an active contribution to climate change adaptation,” says Daniel Ulrich, Head of Planning and Development. building, explaining the passage.

The Francons are taking advantage of an opportunity which, according to the Ministry of Construction, was created recently with the modification of the Bavarian Building Code on 1 February 2021. Since then, the municipalities have been able to regulate the design and installation of the undeveloped areas of the land developed in the local building regulations.

“However, these statutes do little to change the consolidation trend,” Simon points out. Whether a driveway, parking lot, garage or swimming pool can be rebuilt is another matter. “The statutes can only regulate that the last square meter must not be covered with slabs or gravel.”

The “gardens of horror” are also banned elsewhere

There are numerous gravel gardens not only in Nuremberg. As the Nabu explained to the world, stone deserts are particularly common in the new development areas of the metropolitan “Bacon belt” and in the small and medium-sized German cities of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Brandenburg.

But they are also unpopular elsewhere and numerous cities are actively campaigning against “gardens of horror”. I earn in Bavaria, for example, it has expressly banned gravel gardens for new construction and redevelopments. In Baden-Wuerttemberg The state nature conservation law prohibits homeowners from setting up gravel gardens.

There are also doubts as to whether it is legal to create gravel gardens elsewhere. According to the SZ, the state building regulations in Bavaria (Article 7 paragraph 1 number 1) stipulate that undeveloped areas must be allowed to absorb water. This is often not the case with gravel gardens, as there is usually a sheet or fleece under the stones. According to the SZ, other building codes contain a greening requirement for areas. For this reason, for example, the gravel garden on the forecourt of the Hamelin tax office had to be dismantled.

Utopia says: wild corners mean less effort than gravel gardens

There are many reasons against gravel gardens: they offer no ecological added value, they are harmful to the microclimate of cities and settlements and even if they do not host plants, they still need to be cared for at a high price. The pebbles will eventually be covered with moss or algae and will look dirty after a short time. In addition, owners of gravel gardens must regularly rake leaves, especially in the fall. You can find more information and topics here: Gravel garden – that’s why it should be banned throughout Germany

If you avoid gardening, you don’t need a “horrible garden”. Instead, you can create wild corners. To do this, plant local seeds and over time the area will turn into a pasture for bees, which will also benefit other insects.

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