On the 16th and 17th of November, we enjoyed attending Futurescape 2021 at ExCEL London, on the Royal Docks of East London. The event presented the opportunity for many business professionals to meet and build strong connections and share ideas, with the primary goal of progressing and solidifying the industry's future.
Futurescape, the UK’s must-attend landscaping event, turned out to be a highly beneficial experience in broadening our horizons to those critical trends that will undoubtedly be a vital industry feature in the coming years. With the growing climate change crisis currently ongoing, Futurescape’s importance will continue to grow as society tackles the climate crisis.
We would love to share our main insights from the event in this blog, identifying the key trends we feel will provide a valuable and lasting impression on the industry and society.
Firstly, the growing influence of living walls immediately stood out for us, mainly due to their accessibility and ease of installation. These unique walls are vertically built structures covered with vegetation installed inside and outside your property. We believe that living walls will only grow in popularity thanks to the variety of benefits they bring, such as reducing noise and sight pollution. Living walls share similar properties to the ECCOfence; they are explicitly designed to minimise the potential for flash flooding to occur through their dense vegetation, which is becoming a pressing concern for gardeners across Britain as rainfall levels are increasing exponentially; therefore, gardens must become more capable of mitigating the harmful effects of climate change. Living walls are the perfect product to help improve the aesthetics of your property whilst enhancing the sustainability of your local environment due to their ability to absorb harmful chemicals released by household products, office equipment and furniture, which helps purify the air.
Moss walls were also on show at Futurescape; they provide a more cost-effective alternative to living walls with a lot less maintenance required and can last up to 10 years with little care. Selecting between a living or moss wall will purely come down to personal preference as they both have real benefits, which will make a massive difference in the makeup of your property!
Futurescape 2021 reinforced the importance of green roofs and their role in the environment. Here at ECCO products, we are all very aware of green roofs and the benefits they can bring to your setup, as we previously investigated in our blog, ‘What is a green roof and where can you use them?’. Being present at this event with so many like-minded individuals expressing the same beliefs about green roofs and their abilities drove home our confidence in their abilities to inspire change to a greener reality. The ‘GRO Zone’ portion of the event was the perfect opportunity to learn more about green roofs and their impact with a variety of seminars such as ‘The future of green roofs in the UK’, ‘ Green roof maintenance’, and ‘Green roof training’ leaving us feeling excited for the future of green roofs and their critical role in combating climate change.
It is pertinent we continue our journey in spreading the word on green roofs, their usages, benefits and why they will play such a vital role in the fight against climate change and the future of modern cities, as explained in our other previous blog ‘Green roofs – the key to greener cities’.
Futurescape is a very lively event, full of seminars and debates; in particular, we were very impressed with the speech about car parks, ‘Green is the new grey: The future of supermarket car parks". This talk drove home the impact of car parks within the United Kingdom; on the one hand, major supermarket chains have made pledges to reduce their carbon footprint; on the other hand, they have simply overlooked the effects of their car parks on the environment. This simple but significant oversight could have drastic consequences for Britain's future and its mission to reduce carbon emissions. Climate change is important, so no stone can be left unturned.
Car parks are synonymous with being grey, dreary, and uninspiring places. Statistics show there are approximately 103,000 public and private car parks in the country; this represents a significant amount of land that is not utilised to a great degree to maximise its green potential. Imagine the change in societal makeup if there was concentrated effort to ensure car parks were eco-friendly, providing habitats for wildlife and consequently improving local biodiversity, which could aid the step in tackling climate change. ECCOgravel, for example, would be the perfect addition to car parks across the country due to its ability to reduce rainwater runoff which in turn reduces the amount of water going back into the drainage system. Furthermore, even the introduction of grass grids (ECCOdal) could present a solution to the car park question, with their water-permeable surface also reducing rainwater runoff.
Bringing the outside in
Another key trend we saw at Futurescape 2021 was the growing tendency of ensuring the inside of our properties is just as eco-friendly as our outside gardening setups. The pandemic has forced us all to be stuck inside our own homes more than we would like, and for many, this has taken a significant toll on their mental well-being. One small change that could brighten up your home setup would be to ensure the seamless transition of your back garden into your own home.
Products to aid this transition would be any feature that assures your garden blends in effortlessly with your property, such as garden rooms or even the installation of patio doors; these changes will ensure your garden and home arrangements blend, creating a grander and more environmentally diverse setup.
Contact us today for more information regarding Futurescape and the key trends we identified.