Its that time of year again when the grass begins to grow and the temptation to cut and roll our lawns into neat stripes is almost irresistible. However pleasing to look at, vast expanses of short, uniform grass provide little in the way of habitat and food for wildlife and take a lot of effort to maintain. So why not give your mower and legs a rest and leave some or all of your lawn to grow this summer.
Leaving even a small area to grow will help a variety of creatures including pollinating insects, birds and small mammals – in fact it can support up to 150 different species. Did you know there are over 15 million gardens in the UK and they cover more space than all of our national nature reserves added together. Just imagine if even a small area of each was left for nature or included more native plants.
Where you don’t mow, you may be surprised by the number of flowers that bloom amongst what you thought was just grass but if you want to guarantee some interest and help conserve some of our rare wildflowers, you can plant some native species into the grass (no need to clear the ground first). They are perfectly adapted to our local weather and soil and will come back year after year. Why not try one of our mixed starter baskets of wildflowers for just £5.
No-mow May is just the start – join in our Blue campaign and leave your patch all year, displaying a blue heart to show you care and get your spot on our map. Watch out for the flowers that emerge and take some quality time out for yourself in the more natural space you create. Our leaflet has more information about what you can do.
If you want to learn more and keep a record, there are several apps such as iNaturalist which help you identify plants and record what you see. Plantlife also have a lawn survey at the end of May – Every Flower Counts. So far, we have nearly 50 local gardens where native plants have been allowed to thrive and, in many cases, extra flowers have been planted. We are putting these on a map to see if we can connect them up, creating wildlife corridors through our villages to the lovely countryside around us.
Watch out for more activity in the village as the Parish Council are doing their bit by leaving a few areas to grow this year and with the help of some of the local children these will be planted up with some of the rarer flowers from our nursery. We hope you will enjoy seeing these areas blossom over the coming months.