Gardens Illustrated
Oxeye daisy
Trevor Dines, Plantlife

No Mow May: results reveal a boom in lawn wildlife

Published: April 29, 2022 at 12:01 am

Plantlife's Every Flower Count survey records over 250 plant species on garden lawns during last year's No Mow May campaign

People are increasingly embracing unmown lawns and wilder gardens, according to charity Plantlife, and this is great news for wild plants and the wildlife that depends on them.

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New results from Plantlife’s Every Flower Counts (EFC) survey, conducted during their No Mow May campaign last year, indicate there has been a massive shift in how people manage their lawns, with more people taking part in No Mow May in 2021 than in previous years. This is proving hugely beneficial for garden biodiversity.

Plantlife’s survey recorded over 250 plant species on No Mow May participants’ lawns last year, including wild strawberry, wild garlic and a dazzling array of rarities, such as meadow saxifrage, snake’s head fritillary and wild orchids.

Common knapweed
A painted lady butterfly on common knapweed. © Trevor Dines, Plantlife

This floral richness on unmown lawns led to a boom in pollinators, with 25 types of moth and butterfly recorded, and 24 types of bee, including the scarce moss carder bee.

The study also reveals that the humble dandelion is particularly wildlife friendly, producing 37 per cent of a pollinator’s nectar sugar. In fact, just eight dandelion flowers might produce enough nectar sugar to meet an adult bumblebee’s baseline energy needs.

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CEO of Plantlife Ian Dunn is thrilled with the results from last year’s survey: “The results underline how embracing a little more wildness in our gardens can be a boon for plants, butterflies and bees. We are excited by the unfolding dawn of a new British lawn.”

Fancy giving your lawnmower a rest in May? Find out more about No Mow May 2022 and how you can take part.

Authors

Abigail is a freelance writer and editor based in Hereford.

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