No Mow May

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Wandsworth’s No Mow May: Nurturing Biodiversity

London May 3rd 2024

Wandsworth is once again participating in the annual “No Mow May” a national campaign led by the charity Plantlife in which we will leave 20 designated sites unmown throughout the month to let wildlife flourish. In line with Wandsworth Council’s Biodiversity Strategy, the initiative supports biodiversity by allowing grass and plants to grow naturally and contributes to Wandsworth’s commitment to the well-being of local communities and its proactive conservation efforts. 

This year, the 20 selected sites include well-known areas such as King George’s Park, Putney Vale Cemetery, Wandsworth Park, Wandsworth Common, Roehampton Playing Fields, and many others, you can see the full list here. These locations serve as vital green spaces within the Borough, making them ideal candidates for biodiversity enhancement efforts.

By refraining from mowing during May, wildflowers can thrive, providing essential food and habitats for insects and pollinators. While these areas will be mown after May and some into June, the benefits are not lost, as wildflowers will have had the opportunity to grow, bloom and produce seeds ready to germinate in future seasons, contributing to future biodiversity. Although the insects and wildlife may face temporary displacement during mowing, the act of mowing often stimulates new growth and encourages diverse plant communities. Over time, this enhances habitat quality and supports a diverse ecosystem. Additionally, mowing reduces the vigour of less desirable species that might otherwise dominate. This allows less robust species to flourish in future years, contributing to the overall biodiversity of the area.

Through ongoing annual campaigns like No Mow May and Let it Bloom June, Enable has created vital Wandsworth habitats for pollinators at 19 locations, identifying an array of 138 species. Continuing campaigns like these at 20 sites across the borough, including highways verges and cemeteries, reinforces Wandsworth’s steadfast commitment to promoting biodiversity through sustainable practices.

No Mow May also raises awareness in residents of wildlife-friendly gardening practices, encouraging them to contribute to the borough’s green future. Individual contributions to No Mow May can significantly enhance the Borough’s wildlife value and enhance connectivity for pollinator species across Wandsworth.

Private domestic gardens cover 716 hectares in Wandsworth, which is almost 20% of the Borough’s total area! We want to encourage people to take part at home – leave the lawnmower or strimmer in the shed for one month and see which flowers bloom and which pollinators visit. Taking part in No Mow at home is an excellent way to understand the existing wildlife value of your local area and a chance to discover hidden gems across the borough.

Councillor Judi Gasser, Cabinet Member for the Environment says;

“We pledged to make Wandsworth more sustainable and are working hard with Enable to make our natural habitats more resilient and biodiverse. That’s why we support No Mow May and Let it Bloom June, and why we encourage residents to let nature flourish in their own gardens.”

No Mow May is a clear example of Wandsworth’s efforts in enhancing local biodiversity for future generations. Looking ahead, Wandsworth remains committed to preserving and enhancing its natural environment and the health of the planet, guided by collaboration, innovation, and community engagement.

You can contribute to the campaign by sharing photos using the hashtag #NoMowMay and tagging @Enableparks on social media. Follow @EnableParks for updates.

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