1.6 million tiles are dug up during campaign to bring back green gardens

Photo: Sjon Heijenga

A campaign to encourage people to rip up their garden paving stones and replace them with plants and lawns led to almost 1.6 million tiles being removed, the organisers said on Tuesday.

Most tiles were removed in The Hague, but the village of Rucphen, in the south of the country got rid of more tiles per head of the population than anywhere else.

In some places, local councils joined in the campaign to encourage people to bring back proper gardens. In Arnhem, for example, locals could claim a piece of turf from the Vitesse stadium as a reward.

Civil engineering bureau Cobra GroenInzicht used aerial photos to show that almost half of the Netherlands’ gardens are tiled over, which is not only bad for biodiversity, but contributes to flooding and heat stress.

In total, the campaign increased the amount of green spaces in Dutch gardens by 140,000 m2, or 28 football pitches, the organisers say.  Over 80 local authorities took part in the competition, which was supported by the infrastructure ministry, and Amsterdam and Rotterdam city councils.

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