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No Mow May is Plantlife’s annual campaign calling on all garden owners and green space managers not to mow during May.
We can’t wait for you to join us this year!
We’ve lost nearly 97% of flower-rich meadows since the 1930’s and with them gone are vital food needed by pollinators, like bees and butterflies.
But your lawn can help! A healthy lawn with some long grass and wildflowers benefits wildlife, tackles pollution and can even lock away carbon below ground. Best of all, to reap these benefits all you have to do is not mow your lawn in May and beyond!
With over 20 million gardens in the UK, even the smallest grassy patches add up to a significant proportion of our land which, if managed properly, can deliver enormous gains for nature, communities and the climate.
This is why Plantlife calls for people to get involved with #NoMowMay every year, and let wild plants get a head start on the summer. Watch our advice for preparing your garden in spring.
Are you a road verge or a green space manager for a local council?
It’s time to sign up for No Mow May 2024! By letting us know you’re taking part you’ll receive advice and guidance from our expert team.
You can also download Plantlife’s road verge and green space signs to help communicate the changes being made in your community for nature.
No Mow May is the perfect starting point to get your greenspace on track for a wild summer. Learn more about how to manage your wild lawn all year round!
Not as many wildflower in your lawn as you expected this year? Here are some tips from Plantlife’s wildflower experts to help you create a blooming bonanza!
If you want to create a home for wildlife in your garden, here’s a couple of nature-friendly gardening jobs to inspire you. If you create the right space, nature will come.
Not long to wait now! Come back soon for your 2024 No Mow May downloadable posters and guides.
Yes, please join in! Collectively as garden owners and green space managers we can have a huge impact on biodiversity by letting every patch of grass flourish throughout the summer. Whether you have a postage stamp yard or a rambling estate, we can all make a difference in our own way.
Yes. If you don’t have a lawn, you could pledge to leave another green space unmown, such as field or a space at your place of work. Or you could join with others and participate as a community.
There are around 270 different species of wild bee in Britain and they can be pretty tricky to identify. For bumblebees, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust have produced a wonderful identification guide here. For butterflies, see the rather lovely Butterfly Conservation identification guide here.
Ticks are very small insects that spread a serious bacterial infection called Lyme disease. The ticks live on mammals such as hedgehogs, badgers and foxes and then drop off into long grass and vegetation, where we can pick them up and become infected. If you are bitten by a tick look out for flu-like symptoms such as feeling hot and shivery, headaches, aching muscles or feeling sick, and a circular red rash around the tick bite.
The occurrence of ticks in gardens is increasing, so you should wear long trousers and examine yourself carefully for ticks whenever you’ve been in long grass or other long vegetation.
In areas where ticks are prevalent, consider maintaining a shorter grass lawn mown once every four weeks. For more information see www.nhs.uk/conditions/lyme-disease and www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk
We encourage everyone gardening for nature to cut less for longer. Results from our previous No Mow May surveys show that keeping two to three different lengths of grass throughout the summer will maximise the diversity and quantity of flowers and the nectar they produce:
Leave some areas of long grass completely unmown all year to let taller flowers like Oxeye Daisy and Field Scabious come into bloom. These long grasses provide valuable feeding material, shelter, and nesting sites for species such as hedgehogs and toads – connecting them across our landscape.
Mid length ‘meadow’ areas are mown with cuttings collected just 2-3 times per year outside of April-August. They allow taller growing summer flowers to flourish like Meadow Cranesbill, Musk Mallow, knapweeds and scabiouses.
For the rest of the lawn, you can keep the grass shorter by mowing once every month to a height of 1 or 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm). This allows smaller plants such as daisies and Bird’s-foot-trefoil to flower in profusion, providing a fabulous food source.
We understand this may seem frustrating, however, there might be reasons for local authorities to cut in the month of May despite committing to No Mow May. Which are:
Many road verges are regularly cut to maintain clear lines of visibility and safe pullover zones, this is particularly crucial at junctions and on tight bends where visibility is low.
In some cases, verges that are being restored for wildflowers may need more frequent cutting and removal of cuttings. This gradually leads to naturally lower levels of soil fertility that can support a greater biodiversity. Mowing can be less often and later following this restorative phase of management.
Local authorities will often use contractors to manage road verges and may be committed to long term contracts which stipulate certain specifications. The maintenance contracts in place may pre-date a local authorities’ commitments to No Mow May.
Check your council’s website for more detail. If information is lacking, you could send your council an email directly to challenge their management practice and link them to our Best Practice Guide for Managing Grassland Road Verges. See here for more detail and for successful case studies.
Make sure you follow us on social media so you can learn about the wild plants that call our lawns home, as well as tips on preparing for your wildest lawn yet in 2024.
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