We at Plantlife are encouraging more and more people to embrace wilder lawns and enjoy all the benefits that biodiversity has to offer with the No Mow May campaign. Officially launched in 2019, Plantlife’s No Mow May urges those of us with gardens to take a pause for the summer and put our mowers away, making space on our lawns for wildflowers, pollinators, and other wildlife to thrive.
With the climate and nature crises on our doorstep, we are often looking for that one thing we can do to help. There are over 20 million gardens in the UK; consider that by simply “doing nothing for nature”, even the smallest grassy patches can help add up to an area of land equivalent to the size of East Ayrshire. A more relaxed mowing regime is just one way to contribute to combating these crises.
Nicola Hutchinson, Director of Conservation at Plantlife puts it plainly, “Wild plants and fungi are the foundation of life and shape the world we live in. However, 1 in 5 British wildflowers is under threat and we urgently need to arrest the losses. With an estimated 23 million gardens in the UK, how lawns are tended makes a huge difference to the prospects of wild plants and other wildlife. The simple action of taking the mower out of action for May can deliver big gains for nature, communities, and the climate. So, we are encouraging all to liberate lawns as never before.”
In Scotland naturally our wildflowers bloom later in May compared to the rest of the UK, but that is ok, as long as we give our wild plants a chance to grow for at least one month. In fact, Plantlife guidance recommends a balanced approach to lawn care throughout the year with the collection of lawn cuttings after each time you mow. Their team of wildflower experts encourage you to incorporate a mixture of shorter zones for sitting out in the garden, and taller, more structured areas which will help boost overall biodiversity.
No Lawn? No worries! Plantlife has several ways you can still participate in the movement of increasing biodiversity, including making a mini meadow in a window pot.
So, get out there and free your lawns by doing nothing for nature this May, and beyond!
Erin Shott, Communications and Policy Officer at Plantlife Scotland