A green thumb for climate adaptation: how East Devon District Council’s green spaces are Becoming resilient to climate change
East Devon District Council (EDDC) are taking action to adapt to climate change by carefully cultivating their green spaces. Hear from them below:
“We are transitioning away from annual bedding to planting schemes dominated by perennials, which are well adapted to the stresses caused by climate change. By creating high density, layered, functional plant communities rather than isolated plants in a sea of mulch, the planting schemes are less susceptible to drying out through reduced soil exposure and increased shading. The schemes are also more tolerant of high rainfall events, whereby there is greater uptake of water by the higher density of plants, shrubs and trees in the plant communities.
There is a greater emphasis on matching the tree, shrub and herbaceous perennial species used to the conditions that they will be faced with. Increasingly, this is the ability to deal with extended periods of drought and high rainfall events caused by climate change. Where necessary, particularly in urban environments we are turning to non-native species, such as those from The Mediterranean, South Africa and North America.
Similarly, we are moving away from non-functional short improved grass and annual bedding. Instead we are sowing wildflower, planting perennials, letting grass grow, renaturing habitats and planting woodland (over 2000 trees will be planted over this and next winter). Not only are these landscape types better able to deal with climate change stresses themselves, but they also help us to adapt to the extreme events caused by climate change, by increasing surface cooling and reducing the risk of flooding by greater water uptake.”