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Wildlife campaigners are calling for artificial turf grass soccer fields a ban on ‘environmentally irresponsible’ artificial grass used in British gardens over fears it will possibly hurt animals and cause flooding.

Critics say the fashionable ‘astroturf’ lawns are detrimental to birds and insects however advocates argue it is a low-upkeep method to brighten up a backyard.

Yesterday the row escalated after a petition was despatched to the government calling for the plastic grass to be outlawed.

More than 3,000 folks have signed a petition to have artificial lawns banned because of their flood threat and impression on garden wildlife

As of last evening, it had attracted more than 3,000 signatures.

The petition read: ‘The sale of artificial grass should be banned within the UK for environmental causes.

‘It is environmentally irresponsible to allow backyard house occupied by grass and different plant life (which processes CO2 and supports wildlife) to be changed by plastic which does not biodegrade.’

Among these supporting the marketing campaign embrace biology professor Dave Goulson.

The Sussex University academic says that while it’s socially unacceptable to get single-use plastic bags at supermarkets, Britons are overlaying much larger areas in plastic which turns into unhygienic because it ages and will likely be in landfill after a couple of years.

The artificial grass additionally contributes to flooding as it doesn’t absorb water.

And because it breaks down it releases plastic particles into the surroundings.

But BBC Radio four presenter Mishal Husain and Woman’s Hour’s Jane Garvey defended their use of the turf.

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Miss Garvey mentioned earlier than buying the plastic ground covering her outdoor area was a ‘muddy mayhem’.

She added: ‘I didn’t really have a garden, I had a yard, that was really horrible, really onerous to take care of, and didn’t look nice. This looks much better.’

Miss Husain stated the astroturf was ‘a great all-weather surface for cricket and football’ for her sons.

John Terry, the former England football captain, spent a reported £150,000 on an synthetic lawn for his £4.3million, 9-bedroom Surrey mansion.

But on the Today Programme yesterday Professor Goulson laid into those on the lookout for a quick fix for their backyard and mentioned artificial grass ought to require planning permission, a coverage place adopted by the Green Party.

‘There is no compelling reason why anybody ought to have plastic grass,’ he advised the Mail.

Julia Bradbury, the previous Countryfile presenter, last evening urged Britons to sign the petition.

She wrote: ‘Plastic lawns are toxic to people and wildlife. The plastic particulates they release are harmful, they contribute to the heating of the planet and when they’re filthy with cat and chicken poo in just a few years they find yourself in landfill for a whole bunch of years. The alternative of nature and pure.