Residents and visitors to public areas in south Oxfordshire could see more wildflowers blooming this spring as both South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have pledged their support for No Mow May.
The two councils – covering areas incuding Abingdon, Didcot, Faringdon, Henley-on-Thames, Thame, Wallingford, Watlington, and Wantage – already designate wildflower meadows, which they only cut two to three times a year.
But this year, they will trial leaving several additional areas of land uncut for No May Mow, a national campaign which encourages people to not mow gardens and public spaces during May.
The campaign aims to get people to let the grass grow long to help boost biodiversity and provide a feast of wildflower nectar for bees. Not cutting lawns for a month encourages more flowers to grow, and May is the point at which grass grows at its fastest rate.
At the end of the month, people are asked to participate in Every Flower Counts, a survey that will help reveal how many bees the UK’s lawns can feed, and the councils will also review how the trial has impacted each area.
Councillor Sue Cooper, Cabinet Member for Environment, Climate Change and Nature Recovery at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “No Mow May is a great reminder that by making small and simple changes, you can make a real positive difference to our environment.
“We’re really keen to increase the biodiversity and boost wildlife on our public land and so this year, as promised in our new Climate Action Plan, we’ll review how we carry out grounds maintenance to see if there any opportunities to reduce grass cutting and for wilding and tree planting to take place.”
Councillor Andrew Crawford, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Assets at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “It’s really important that we do what we can to boost our biodiversity on our public land, so I’m really pleased we are supporting No Mow May. It’s a great campaign and requires no effort to get involved – if you have a garden, please join in and see if new plants and wildlife start to appear outside your home.
“We do have to carry out more cutting in our parks and on some public land to ensure it’s safe for people to use. However, we will do what we can to identify more areas where we can let the grass grow and allow plants the opportunity to flourish across the district.”
Visit southoxon.gov.uk/NoMowMay or whitehorsedc.gov.uk/NoMowMay for more information about how the councils carry out grass cutting in their districts. For more information about No May May, visit the Plantlife website.