What’s going on here?

Sunday marks the start of May and the fourth time the conservation charity Plantlife will run their annual #NoMowMay campaign.

What does this mean?

For those lucky enough to be responsible for a patch of lawn, it means locking up the lawn mower, sitting back and relaxing as your lawn grows and comes to life. For those who don’t have their own patch, now is the time to convince your friends/family/local authority to do similar for the good of the planet.

Nervous about diving straight in at the deep-end and going full au naturel? Research has shown that having a variety of both long and short areas of grass is equally good, if not better in some ways, than the full meadow look. And, if you need any more convincing, just imagine how alluring a neat path mown through long grass looks.

Why should we care?

By the end of May, it’s unlikely a fully blown wildflower meadow will have developed but daisies, dandelions and buttercups will be blooming. These are beautiful wildflowers in their own right. Moreover, they provide a key source of food for pollinators.

“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them” – Eeyore, A.A. Milne – Winnie The Pooh

The long swaying grass between flowers will also be beneficial as it provides habitat for many other invertebrates and, if you’re lucky, their predators such as reptiles, like grass snakes, amphibians and small mammals like hedgehogs and mice.

Really, No Mow May is a winner all round when it comes to helping the planet. It encourages biodiversity, sequesters carbon, reduces energy consumption, improves the drought tolerance and robustness of lawns (and hence reduces the need for interventions, such as watering), and, maybe most importantly, it encourages us to slow down and consider how our actions are impacting the world.

Be curious

Get involved with the No Mow May campaign.

Find out how renowned gardeners Alys Fowler and Jack Wallington learnt to love weeds

Checkout anything by the ecology and conservation legend (and No Mow May evangelist) that is Professor Dave Goulson – Twitter; YouTube; Blog (plus see his books)

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