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No Mow May: dawn of a new British lawn - Plantlife

Garden lawns are being mowed less and less as people embrace wilder gardens and that is good news for wild plants and the other wildlife that depend on them, says Plantlife, as it issues a rallying cry to No Mow May and let wild plants get a fast start on Summer. #NoMowMay is 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.

Plantlife’s Every Flower Counts (EFC) citizen science survey – the largest ever survey of garden lawns – demonstrates a radical shift in attitudes towards lawn management is underway: Last year 78.8% of 2,157 EFC participants did not mow for a month before taking part in the survey, a rise from 33.6% in 2019.

daisy and bugloss flwoers in long grass
(image: pixabay)

The results of giving the mower a breather for May can be spectacular; in 2021 No Mow Mayers 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 including the declining man orchid, green-winged orchid, southern and northern marsh orchid, and bee orchid lit up liberated lawns.

The opportunity provided by a relaxation in mowing regimes saw higher flower counts, floral richness AND pollen [provision] scores than previous Mays examined. In May 2021, EFC participants counted over 465,000 flowers including almost a quarter of a million daisies.

Lawns are sometimes considered to be wastelands for wildlife but Plantlife today illuminates that, under the right management, they can be biodiversity hotspots; EFC surveyors recorded almost 100 species of pollinators on their lawns in 2021, including 25 types of moth and butterfly and 24 types of bee including the scarce moss carder bee.

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Posted On: 29/04/2022

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