Greening Grey Britain

Greening Grey Britain was launched at Easter 2015 and has a three-year target to transform 6,000 unloved grey spaces into thriving, planted up places.

What is the RHS doing?

We are making a stand against the depressing concrete sprawl, calling for people to get ‘Greening Grey Britain’ by turning unloved and unspectacular parts of their neighbourhoods into something beautiful and to make their gardens even greener.

A Piet Oudolf-inspired design flourishes in Whitworth Park, Manchester, with help from an RHS grantOver the coming months the RHS will share ideas ranging from pulling up a paving stone and planting it up, to creating a window box, planting up front gardens and transforming grey private gardens and community areas.

Alistair Griffiths, RHS Director of Science and Collections, says: "Through this three-year initiative with our army of 300,000 RHS Bloom volunteers engaged, individual homeowners and RHS members, we hope to make a transformational difference across the UK. We’ll also put the spotlight on front gardens and how to have parking and incorporate plants. Paving over front gardens is a critical issue, which we know people care about: 60% of people in the UK worry about paved front gardens and flooding*."

Who can get involved?

It doesn’t matter if you own a large garden or a window box, everyone with access to outdoor space can get involved in Greening Grey Britain. It needn’t be difficult task; start by planting on plant at a time.

If hundreds and thousands of people across the country grew more plants in gardens and community spaces, it would improve our air quality, benefit us, our wildlife and reduce temperatures and flooding risks.

Take part if you are:

• an individual

• a community group

• a school

• councils

• businesses

• anyone else willing!

How do I take part?

As part of Greening Grey Britain, simply pledge to reduce grey and increase green – the plants. Here are five simple things you could do and why they help:

Five things you could do

The positive difference you could make

Plant a tree Regulate temperature, attract wildlife, reduce flooding & pollution
Plant a shrub Regulate temperature, attract wildlife, reduce flooding
Plant a climber Regulate temperature, attract wildlife, reduce energy bills
Plant a hedge Regulate temperature, attract wildlife, reduce pollution
Plant a container Reduce flooding, attract wildlife


Your pledge will count towards our target of transforming 6,000 grey spaces by 2017.

Get inspired by the RHS

Inspiration to get Greening Grey Britain will be promoted at the RHS Shows, including RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and through its science and advisory work. Communities and individuals will be asked to pledge what action they’ll take and there will initiatives to share before and after images of Greening Grey Britain gardening activity online.

*The RHS commissioned a survey to 2,000 adults across the UK about gardening and growing plants. The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,023 respondents aged 16+ in GB between 27.10.14 – 28.10.14.  The survey was conducted from a random sample of UK adults. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.