Designing gardens that absorb air pollution

Several tree and plant species have been proven to absorb certain types of pollutants that are harmful to human health. By planting them in areas with high air pollution, they can help to improve the air quality in that particular area.


Great Ormond Street Hospital's school for patients has a playground that faces a road which is located in a very polluted ward in London. CWC has designed a garden with trees and plants that can help to absorb certain pollutants, and help the patients to breathe more easily.


As with any garden design project, the plants and trees must not only be good at absorbing air pollution, they must also be appropriate for the site.


CWC selected plants and trees that:

- are good at absorbing air pollution throughout the year (so a mix of deciduous plants and evergreens)

- are able to survive with only a few hours sunlight each day

- would not cause the children any health problems if they touch / ingest the plants.


In order to minimise transportation emissions, CWC purchased plants and trees from nurseries that cultivate the species in London, such as the Hackney Tree Nursery.


If you would like to find out more about designing for air pollution, please feel free to get in touch.