August 8, 2022

The beauty of No Mow May? You literally don’t have to do a thing

People across the UK are keeping the mower in the shed and letting their lawns grow free as part of a new nature initiative designed to boost plant and insect life.

No Mow May is a scheme aimed at getting people to re-evaluate their position on cutting their grass and instead letting their garden grow wild in an attempt to bolster nectar for insects and the number of naturally occurring wild flowers.

What’s more, according to a new survey by British conservation charity Plantlife, the programme is working well – with more people than ever before letting their mower gather dust and allowing nature to do its thing.

The results of their most recent Every Flower Counts citizen report – which was completed by approximately 2,157 people – showed that 78.8 per cent of participants decided not to cut their grass for an entire month before completing the EFC survey – a sizeable increase from the 33.6 per cent who did the same in 2019.

A spokesperson from this environmental effort suggested that these new figures show that a clear “radical shift in attitudes towards lawn management is under way,” according to a report in The Guardian.

Those who took part were even gifted a selection of rare plants to sew in their newly invigorated wild spaces.

“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,” explained Ian Dunn, head of Plantlife.

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“We are excited by the unfolding dawn of a new British lawn.”

This uptick in people leaving their grass untouched saw a wave of rare plants and flowers return and flourish throughout the past year. Wild garlic and strawberries have been spotted, alongside plants that have typically been harder to spot – including eyebright, adder’s-tongue fern, snakeshead fritillary and more.

It’s not just flowers that Plantlife want us to see more of either.

According to these green-fingered experts, even common weeds serve a valuable purpose in our gardens and not all of them should be removed. In fact, flowers such as dandelions are a great provider of pollen for insects; producing around 9 per cent of pollen and 37 per cent of all nectar sugar found in a typical lawn in 2021.

If your garden is green enough to grow as little as eight dandelions, that could still be enough to power an adult bubble-bee’s entire baseline energy needs – so don’t be so hasty with the trowel next time you decide to give the garden a facelift.

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