Seedball is supporting Plantlife’s No Mow May challenge and encouraging you to pack up your lawnmower this May. As you know – wildflowers attract pollinators!
The idea of locking away your lawn mower in May, as suggested by charity Plantlife – is quietly but assuredly, revolutionary. May is a time when the warmer weather leads many gardeners to reach for the mower. Yet, it is also the perfect time to let flowers in the lawn thrive – a recent Plantlife survey of 2,000 gardeners revealed that most people mow once every two weeks.
According to Plantlife, allowing your lawn to grow for just one month can provide enough nectar for ten times the amount of bees and other pollinators than a regularly cut lawn. Like us, Plantlife sees that gardens can play a vital role in reversing the decline in wildflower habitats, and the species that rely on them…
- A report in the journal Biological Conservation showed 97% of British wildflower meadows have disappeared since the 1930s.
- A study published in the journal Nature Communications showed many British pollinating insects are in decline with some rare species really struggling.
- Between 1980-2013, every square kilometre in the UK lost an approx 11 species of bee and hoverfly.
- Key reasons behind declines are: use of insecticides, habitat loss and lack of planting and planning spaces for pollinators and wildlife.
To help find out the impact of not mowing, in 2019 Plantlife began Every Flower Counts – the largest-ever citizen science research survey of British lawns. Their findings were staggering!
- Over 200 species of flowers were found on lawns
- The top three lawn flowers were daisy, white clover and selfheal.
- Plantlife created the National Nectar Score – all lawn flowers included in the survey produced a combined 23kg of nectar sugar per day, colossal! This is enough to support 2.1 million honey bees – or around 60,000 hives.
- 80% of lawns involved in the survey were found to support the equivalent of around 400 bees a day.
- 20% were considered “superlawns” – these could support up 10 times as many – up to 4000 bees a day!
So – how can you get involved??
Here are our top tips to create a wildlife friendly lawn:
- Decide if your lawn will go full Nomow, or if you will select a Nomow area, or simply cut a path (or maze of paths) through your lawn
- Go pesticide free and see what wildflowers emerge in cracks in paving 🙂
- Allow your lawn to grow, flower and set seed to increase diversity
- Carry on a Nomow routine into the rest of the year 🙂 Aiming to keep at least one patch of longer grass and mowing a maximum of once a month to a height of 2.5-5cm.
Register to take part in every flower counts survey 2021, please register here first.