Permeable Paving On Gardeners' Question Time - Featured Image
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Permeable Paving Discussion On BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time

Gardeners’ Question Time is a weekly radio show hosted on BBC Radio 4 from 3pm until 4pm every Friday. During last weeks episode, (4th January 2019) listeners were treated to an insightful and engaging segment from Carol and Manoj who were discussing the use of gravel grids and permeable paving products such as X-Grid® to create gravel or grass driveways within a front garden. There are a huge number of benefits associated with using permeable and porous paving solutions, some of which were talked about in depth on the show. Here are the four main points covered on the show as to why permeable paving is such a fantastic application.

  • Allowing water to drain naturally into the ground below instead of creating runoff as with concrete which moves water into nearby and flood prone drains. The permeability also ensures that essential liquids and nutrients are able to reach nearby plants and flowers.
  • The ability to still grow plants and flowers even with the installation of gravel grids. Once installed, X-Grid can be filled with soil and seed.
  • An incredibly strong surface which can easily hold the weight of multiple cars. X-Grid has a weight bearing capacity of 420 tonnes per square metre.

Gardeners' Question Time Transcript


“When it came to actually thinking about the space for parking, we looked at a permeable solution which means that when it rains water will go straight down into the soil and then be taken up again by the trees and vegetation around the garden.”

“So this is a perfect time of year to start planning ahead with your front garden? Give us your top tips to create an environmentally friendly front garden.”

Manoj Malde

“I always say first off, you really need to think about it not as a parking space but as a garden where you are going to put a car.”

“I would start with what separates you from the road so I would put in a hedge and that would do all sorts of things, it will bring in wildlife and it will also help to screen pollutants from the street.”

“My number two would be to think about wherever you possibly can putting in some planting and taking out hard surfaces, The way that we did that was we created a honeycomb system, so it is a system of plastic grids into which you can put or in this case we put gravel and they’re sturdy enough to take the weight of cars driving over the top of them so they’ll bear the weight of vehicles.”

“Carol, I love this honeycomb system that you’ve used here and what I really like about it is that it actually contains the gravel, so it stops the gravel from moving around too much. Are there other materials that can be combined that could kind of do the same job?”

Manoj Malde

“Well you could use any type of aggregate as long as it isn’t too tiny and doesn’t get squashed down into the honeycomb system. Alternatively, you can actually put soil and seed into the system as well so it can become like a living surface, like a living carpet as it were as long as you don’t have too much heavy traffic over it.”

“There are also other options that you can use for permeable or porous paving, so there are pavers that are designed so that when you lay them next to each other there are actually gaps which allow the water to go down into the soil.”

“What is the importance behind that? What should people be taking away with them about that?”

Manoj Malde

“Well there are various things; one is that it’s cooling the gardens. It’s also not flowing out into the street and there’s a big problem especially in cities with flooding of drains when it rains and that’s because we have so much hard surface and the water goes straight out into the streets.”


As Carol and Manoj discussed, there are many fantastic benefits associated with using gravel grids to create strong and permeable driveways or paths.

One of the best ground reinforcement grids on the market is X-Grid®. Manufactured in the UK from 100% recycled plastic, its unique design allows for optimum permeability and strength which enables each m² of grid to hold up to 420 tonnes when unfilled. Along with these benefits, X-Grid is also UV resistant, weather resistant, lightweight and incredibly easy to install – one person is able to lay 100m² per hour.

The versatility of X-Grid makes it a very popular product in the groundworks, construction and landscaping industry. Every image in the video at the top of this article includes X-Grid®. The YouTube video shows just how versatile X-Grid is and how it can be used to create paths, driveways, car parks and so much more.

If you have any questions about X-Grid®, please do not hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable sales team who will be able to help with your enquiry.

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