Let it grow! No Mow May!
Did you know that wild plants, rather than garden ones, are needed to enable many insects and invertebrates to breed and overwinter, as well as for pollen and nectar? It’s been inspiring to see so many front gardens and verges in the village resplendent with the sunshine-coloured flowers of spring – not just a joy to people out on their walks and a lifeline for bees and other insects but for all the birds and other species, including hedgehogs, that feed on those insects too.
Photo: Donna Rainey
What a difference we can make!
“It’s up to every one of us to help preserve our planet for the future” said David Attenborough. As a human being living on this unique planet, you are already the perfect person to care about climate change and our natural environment, and when a community works together, that difference can really show, and give a real sense of agency, achievement and community spirit.
Postponed to Thursday 6th May at 7.30pm, you can register for the Launch and Q&A of the
Milborne Port and Sherborne Solar Streets scheme at www.SolarStreets.co.uk/MPS (There was an error in last month’s link but these new details will work!). Email your questions any time to Info@SolarStreets.co.uk. The webpage also has contact details for questions at any time, or if you want panels now.
It’s vital that we provide for nature throughout the year in our gardens & roadside verges
Why? 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost (through ploughing or fertilizing) in recent years – and many younger people may not have experienced their beauty – but we can each manage some or a part of our gardens and support the management of roadside verges (unploughed relicts) and garden grasslands for the benefit of wildlife and people. People need nature for their mental well-being; research has shown this for a fact; especially with all the lockdowns people have realized their need to be able to enjoy nature – birds, bees, butterflies and wildflowers – close to home. We all love to see swallows in the summer, and hear bird song around us; but remember that birds are vanishing as wild flowers disappear and insect numbers plummet. Let’s roll our sleeves up! Or rather, do less in the garden!
• Please stop poisoning wildlife! Pesticides and herbicides are putting bees, birds, hedgehogs, butterflies, beetles, frogs, dragonflies and more at risk.
• Cut and Collect! Collect up your mowings to bring fertility down and stop courser grasses outgrowing and smothering wild flowers; you will then be able to mow less and less often. (In Dorset, verge cuts have come down from 12 x per annum to an astonishing 2-3 x.) Wild plants then have more time and chance to flower and set seed – benefitting pollinating insects and all the wildlife that depends on these insects. And you have more time to put your feet up!
• Join in No Mow May, a nationwide campaign to leave all or a part of your lawn uncut in May to prolong the spring flowering period; it’s incredibly beneficial. Aim, best of all, to reach the point over a few years through Cut and Collect where the fertility is sufficiently low in part or all of your lawn for wild plants to be left to flower till the usual hay cutting time in July. You can achieve a cared-for look by keeping a path cut through larger areas, and cutting round the edges. https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/discover-wild-plants-nature/no-mow-may
Photo credit: Matt Pitts, Plantlife
• Let it Grow – mow less often throughout the season to let wild plants flower and help stop the loss of nature.
• If you must use a strimmer, please do check carefully for hedgehogs first. Their response to danger is to curl up in a prickly ball; not flee. If anyone finds an injured hedgehog, please contact the local hedgehog rescue in Hazelbury Bryan on 01258 818266.
We are delighted that Milborne Port PC’s Planning and Environment Committee has supported our request to reduce the costs of verge management and increase biodiversity with Cut and Collect and No Mow May. This is in keeping with Britain in Bloom, as one of the three areas that judges focus on is environmental responsibility, looking for evidence there is a commitment to environmental issues including conservation, maintaining wildlife’s natural habitats, and improving pollination. Three roadside grassland areas that the Parish Council are responsible for managing will not be cut in May. These are the area on the A30 corner of Bathwell Lane; the triangle in Rosemary Street, and the area of grass at the end of Springfield Road opposite the Recreation Ground.
There is a great appetite for more nature. Across the country, the edges of playing fields, sports grounds, churchyards and so on are being managed to enable wild flowers to thrive again., whilst cutting costs. Let’s do all we can to bring more flowers and wildlife back into everyday life in Milborne Port! Please leave the verges outside your property uncut for the summer for wildlife and people to enjoy.
New! Find us on Facebook where you can find tips on helping nature thrive and combating climate change. (And, fingers crossed, follow the fortunes of Max the hedgehog if his current absence is temporary and due to him being busy finding a mate, and not to him having come to any harm).
Action on the climate and ecological emergencies is still possible; our future is, to a great extent, still in our hands. Time to act!