Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A simple change...

When you look at our public open spaces what would you like to see, a flower rich sward buzzing with life, or closely mown grass with no weeds?
At a time when there is increasing anxiety about loss of ‘biodiversity’ and in particular the decline in bees, which are of huge economic importance, perhaps we should think about this.
A simple change in the management of amenity grassland could allow the regeneration of wild flowers which, in turn, would increase the pollen and nectar available for bees, butterflies, and other less charismatic, but equally important, invertebrates. 
If the blades of cutters were adjusted so that they were never lower than about 2’’ (except in the areas where there is good reason for the grass to be kept shorter such as sports pitches) low growing species such as clovers and trefoils would be able to set seed. 
There is a perception in some quarters that the public would be resistant to such a change, but I am not so sure.  Perhaps now is the time to open the debate – what do you think?
For more information, pictures, and a link to a petition go to


  1. Interesting post and a valid point from my perspective, I think quite a few people will not really understand the value of leaving the grasslands a little longer. I have a patch of land infront of my home which I have left longer for wildlife but have listened to some of the senior citizens wandering by muttering about "how its a mess and how I should trim it all back". I also think people are concerned that it provides cover for vermin (I do have a lot of field voles around my home but no rats). Bee Strawbridge raised some good points on her blog about verges being strimmed back to harshly, may be worth a visit if you are interested.

  2. Thank you Owl. I read Bee's blogs and remember the one about the strimming.

  3. It seems like a no-brainer to me when such a small change would have such a significant positive impact on the whole system.

    I think it beautifully demonstrates why people are so reluctant to 'go green' in general, they think it will either be very expensive or require a lot of effort. Showing the public the significant benefits that can be gained from very small changes makes them feel it's 'do-able' at local level and therefore worth doing.