What is No Mow May and why does it matter?
The annual No Mow May campaign has returned this year for 2023. People across the UK – and beyond – are asked to lock up their lawnmowers on 1 May and let the wild flowers in their lawns bloom, providing a feast of nectar for our hungry pollinators. Plants need pollinators and pollinators need plants. However, it is known that both are in sharp decline.
How can Barry Town Council help?
If Barry Town Council takes part in the campaign (where able) and does not mow areas of lawn until June, it is felt that this will mimic the hay meadows of old.
One suggestion by Plantlife was – If you’re a Council, join in by leaving parks and road verges to go wild. Barry Town Council can apply this to areas of the areas of Cemeteries. It is suggested that not mowing the lawn less saves time and makes a big difference to the wildlife in the garden. Create a mini jungle for beetles and other small creatures to wander and where sparrows and goldfinches can come to feed on the seeds. The grasses will set seed, wildflowers can bloom and provide nectar, and the longer stems will create a sheltered microclimate. Avoid using strimmers too, as they can injure hedgehogs, frogs and insect larvae.
Reasons given include:
• A three-acre meadow can be home to 9 million flowers producing enough nectar to support ½ million bees every day.
• On a single day in summer, one acre of wildflower meadow can contain 3 Million Flowers and produce 1 kg of Nectar sugar for pollinators.
• Since the 1930s, we have lost nearly 7.5 million acres of flower-rich meadows and pastures. Just 1% of our countryside now provides this floral feast for pollinators.
• Against this loss, habitats such as lawns have become increasingly important. With 15 million gardens in Britain, our lawns have the potential to become major sources of nectar.
• By taking part in the campaign in this way, smaller plants like clover, daisies, dandelions, selfheal and clover will get a chance to flower and give pollinators a head-start.
[Information provided by RSPB and Plantlife]