Take part in No Mow May to help pollinators
Date published: 10 May 2022
Photo: Trevor Dines Plantlife
Selfheal and white-tailed bumblebee
Local residents are being encouraged to give the lawn mower a rest this month, to embrace wilder gardens and aid native pollinators.
#NoMowMay is nature charity Plantlife’s campaign encouraging people not to mow during May and to continue to mow less and at different lengths and frequencies throughout the summer.
Those who chose not to mow last year reported over 250 plant species including wild strawberry, wild garlic and a dazzling array of rarities including adders’-tongue fern, meadow saxifrage, snake’s-head fritillary, and eyebright.
Wild orchids included the declining man orchid, green-winged orchid, southern and northern marsh orchid, and bee orchid lit up liberated lawns.
Dandelion-clad lawns are particularly wildlife friendly as they are disproportionately important for pollinators. Despite being outnumbered by daisies 85 to 1 on a typical lawn, they produced 9% of its pollen and fully 37% of its nectar sugar. Plantlife says just eight dandelion flowers might produce enough nectar sugar to meet an adult bumblebee’s baseline energy needs.
Ian Dunn, CEO, Plantlife, said: “These results demonstrate that our call to No Mow May has set seed and laid down deep roots. The results underline how embracing a little more wildness in our gardens can be a boon for plants, butterflies and bees.
“We are excited by the unfolding dawn of a new British lawn.”
Oli Wilson, National Plant Monitoring Scheme modeler, noted: “May is a crucial month for flowering plants that need to get a firm foothold but we are not advocating never mowing after May.
“Plantlife guidance across the year recommends a layered approach to the garden cut, where shorter grass is complemented by areas of longer grass. This two-tone approach boosts floral diversity and nectar and pollen production through the year.”
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