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Can you get your council to set aside a ‘No Mow Zone’?

Back in June, after having numerous discussions with Nick Burton, Open Spaces Officer, at Lichfield Council, we managed to get the council mowing team to agree to not mow a section of the wide , grassy verge at the bottom of my lane. This verge has a lovely mature hedge and then arable fields behind, but is next to a pretty busy main road; the A51 out of Lichfield. It can just be beginning to burst into life, full of nectar sources and the mowers come along and decimate it! It is a very wide verge and is a perfect candidate for a ‘no mow’ as it is not used. A 3m stretch by the road was mown, to ensure visibility for traffic exiting my lane, onto the A51.

These interesting facts are from the Plantlife website:

Where wild flowers lead, nature follows.

Stand in the middle of any open, species-rich grassland in midsummer and just listen to the astonishing hum of insect life…

Inextricably linked, wild flowers provide the nectar and pollen for pollinators and many of our favourite flowers rely on these insects to set seed.

But both wild flowers and pollinators are in rapid decline.

  1. A third of bumblebees are listed as conservation priorities

  2. 70% of butterfly species are in decline

  3. The abundance of moths has decreased by nearly 30%.

When you look at the statistics for wild flowers this isn’t surprising:

  1. Over 97% of meadows have been lost since the 1930s.

  2. That’s about 7.5 million acres of wildflower habitat gone

  3. The floral richness of verges has declined by nearly 20% since 1990

If all verges in the UK were managed for nature there would be 418 billion more flowers in the UK.

Incredible information eh? I want to do my little bit… and if everyone did their own ‘little bit’ maybe we can turn that tide…..

I had really wanted the ‘no-mow’ to start in the Spring and, in fact, by the time it was in place I had missed lots of early Spring growth….

Then the driest, hottest summer we have had for a while set in! There was so little growth on this verge, that there was not much difference to see between the mown section and the section that was left. It became a rather brown and dry area. At the beginning of July I went to take a look…. it was SO dry, there was little to see growing…. but this Ragwort had made a valiant attempt and was a tiny splash of colour. I went over to take a picture….. a was amazed to see it had cinnabar moth caterpillars on it! That made my day!

As we have had some damper and cooler weather, I went down this morning as I noticed the mowers had been out again. Hopefully, I would see more difference now between the mown and unmown section. The difference is much more obvious now and I am excited to see how it develops. There are so many species emerging now, even at this late part of the season. Dandelions were flowering, offering important late nectar sources.

I spotted another small clump of Ragwort and couldn’t believe what I saw…. feasting on the flowers were two pristine small copper butterflies! They certainly wouldn’t have been here if the whole area had been mown! #gallery-18878-16 { margin: auto; } #gallery-18878-16 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 50%; } #gallery-18878-16 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-18878-16 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */

I will be putting up a sign here to let people know why this area is not being mown and I will be regularly checking it out and photographing it.

A massive thank you to Lichfield Council for agreeing to leave this area… to me, it makes double sense…. saves money, as less area to mow and MUCH better for wildlife! I am hoping to encourage them to roll it out to other areas for next year.

Why not approach your local council? Or if you live in Lichfield and have an area near you that you think may be suitable, then drop me an email at


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