No Mow May is back:
The wildflower conservation charity Plantlife returns this year to encourage gardeners to participate in No Mow May, leaving areas of their lawns uncut, to see what native plants bloom and to take part in their survey: Every Flower Counts.
With a third of wild bees and hoverflies in decline Every Flower Counts shows the vital difference everyone with a lawn can make supporting these pollinators by cutting back on the mowing. Between 1980 and 2013, every square kilometre in the UK lost an average of 11 species of bee and hoverfly, so the dense patchwork of lawns provided by British gardens really can throw our pollinators a lifeline. We just have to let the flowers bloom.” Dr Dines
Every Flower Counts asked participants of No Mow May to record how often they cut their lawns or if they had left their lawns unmown, with the following astonishing results:
- Over 200 species were found flowering on lawns. The top three most abundant lawn flowers are daisy, white clover and selfheal.
- 80% of lawns supported the equivalent of around 400 bees a day from the nectar sugar produced by flowers such as dandelion, white clover and selfheal.
- 20% of lawns (dubbed “superlawns”) were found to be supporting 10 times as many – up to 4000 bees a day.
- First ever National Nectar Score for our lawns: all lawn flowers in the survey combined produced a colossal 23kg of nectar sugar per day, enough to support 2.1 million – or around 60,000 hives – of honeybees.
- The highest production of flowers and nectar sugar was on lawns cut once every four weeks. This gives ‘short-grass’ plants like daisies and white clover a chance to flower in profusion, boosting nectar production tenfold.
- Areas of longer unmown grass were, however, more diverse in their range of flowers, with other nectar-rich plants like oxeye daisy, field scabious and knapweed increasing the range of nectar sources for different pollinators and extending nectar availability into late summer.
How to participate in Every Flower Counts:
- Leave an area of lawn uncut and see what flowers.
- From 22rd May to 31st May take part in “Every flower counts” by counting the number of flowers in a random square metre of your lawn.
- Visit www.plantlife.org.uk to register, add your number and instantly receive your own Personal Nectar Score, showing how much nectar is being produced by the flowers on your lawn and how many bees it can support.
Rewildchew will record numbers in the new “wild areas” of St Andrew’s Churchyard and on behalf of Chew Magna Parish Council in the unmown areas of the playing field, Streamside and Tunbridge Close. We would love to hear your results so please share them with us via:
Instagram – @rewildchew
Facebook – Rewild Chew, Garden by Garden