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Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa

Don't Mow in May - join Plantlife for this citizen science project

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Good news for those of you who don’t like mowing your lawn and would love a really good reason not to bother.

Well, mowing the lawn could attract 10 x the number of bees that you would usually get!

Give bees a Super Lawn!

Lawns cut every four weeks are being called “super lawns” and it’s reckoned that they attract 4,000 bees a day on average.

However, those cut regularly to keep them neat and tidy bring in just an average of 400 bees a day.

This is a HUGE difference. 


Take part in a citizen science project:  Every Flower Counts!

This has all been worked out by charity Plantlife.   They’ve got an Every Flower Counts survey.  Nearly 2,000 households were asked how often they mow their lawns; and then they were asked to count the number of wild flowers in one squared patches.

Daisies were most abundant on lawns, followed by white clover and the violet coloured selfheal.

Asking those surveyed to count 24 different wildflowers, Plantlife could work out how much nectar the whole garden produced – and how many bees that could support.

And that’s where they discovered that one in five lawns called super lawns would entice ten times more bees.

Let your lawn grow

So Plantlife advise that we keep sections of our lawn long so that we can support wild flowers such as oxeye daisy, field scabious, knapweed and even orchids.   Daisies and white clover are short stemmed wild plants – they produce more flowers if cut back once a month.

So some parts of your lawn should have a monthly cut to boost short plants.  And we should all put aside an area for longer grass – what Plantlife call a Mohican haircut!

Bees and butterflies need different sorts of flowers.  Combine them, and the lawns in the survey produced 50lb of nectar a day – and that’s enough to support over 2 million honeybees.

Count your flowers and report in 

So our task is to work out which parts of the lawn to short cut, which to leave long, and then to put the kettle on and settle down with a cuppa and listen to the birdsong!  

And one final thing to do....

Count the flowers on your lawn and find out how many bees it can support!  The more flowers in your lawn, and the more types of flowers you've got, the more bees you'll be able to support.

Every Flower Counts takes palce from 23rd to 31st May 2020 so let Plantlife know your results!

From your results, Plantlife can calculate a National Nectar Index to show how lawns in Britain are helping to feed pollinators.  And they'll show you how you can increase the number of flowers in your lawn! 

#NoMowMay

 

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