No Mow May - Meadows

mass of grass and wildflowers along a hedgerow with houses in the background

What is No Mow May?

First launched in 2019 by the botanical charity Plantlife, the No Mow May campaign asks people to let nature flourish and lock up their lawnmowers for the month of May. The aim of the campaign is to let the grass grow and wild flowers bloom, in doing so a 'nectar feast' is provided for pollinators such as honeybees, bumblebees, butterflies and moths, and beetles. Not cutting lawns and large grass areas encourages more flowers to grow and May is the point at which grass starts growing at its fastest rate.

Wildflowers could bloom in more public areas next month as Cheltenham Borough Council have pledged their support for No Mow May. In support of this campaign the Council are trialling 9 additional meadow sites in addition to our pre-existing meadow areas, covering over 17,000 meters squared, to help encourage the growth of wild flowers and increase levels of biodiversity.

Below are the areas that we are not mowing in support of the No Mow May campaign. These areas will be left as meadow sites and mown at the end of the summer.

  • Brizen playing field
  • Chargrove Lane open space
  • Coronation square roundabout
  • Hesters Way Park
  • Humpty dumps open space
  • Manor Farm open space
  • Swindon Village
  • Cirencester Road open space
  • Hillview/ Cheriton open space

These specific areas have been chosen in order to ensure there are still areas being mown which will still allow residents to continue activities such as dog walking, and allow children to play in more maintained green spaces. 

This campaign highlights the importance of meadow sites to increasing biodiversity and it is something that we would like to continue past this event by increasing the number of permanent meadow areas that are in Cheltenham in order to increase the quantity of biodiversity within the borough.

Map of areas

Feedback

We'd really like to get feedback from local residents to gain their thoughts on the meadow areas and whether they feel that they have enhanced these parts of our town. These areas haven't been sown with meadow seed, but they could if they became permanent. Please let us know your thoughts by contacting [email protected]

Why are we supporting No Mow May?

Tackling the climate and ecological emergencies

Grasslands help to tackle the Climate and Ecological Emergencies. However, 97% of lowland meadows in the UK have been lost since the 1930s. The Council has pledged to support No Mow May by not cutting areas during May, but we are going one step further by not cutting some areas during the growing season until later summer.

Benefits to wildlife

Grasslands contain wildflowers including species such as dandelions that are often thought of as 'weeds'. Long grass and wildflowers are good for wildlife as they provide food and shelter for insects, birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians and they also provide flowers for pollinators. Dandelions will pop up, which provide important nectar for pollinators. According to Plantlife, just eight dandelion flowers may produce enough nectar sugar to meet an adult bumblebee's baseline energy needs.

Benefits to the environment

Grasslands slow down and absorb the flow of rainwater which can reduce the risk of flooding and they help to cool down our urban areas during heat waves. Storms and heat waves are likely to become more frequent and severe due to climate change.

Cutting grass less often

Cutting the grass less often gives wildflowers the chance to flower and produce seeds. It also reduces air and noise pollution from grass cutting equipment and reduces the amount of fuel that is burned.

How to take part in No Mow May

Why not join us in taking part, and let your garden grow for May!

All you have to do is simply leave your mower in the shed for No Mow May and watch the flowers fill your lawn. Register at the No Mow May website.

How to mow for wildlife all year round

A few simple changes can really help the insects in your garden. Here are some things that you can do now:

Cut your lawn once every four weeks - Plantlife's survey last year found that those with the highest production of flowers and nectar sugar were the participants who mowed their lawns once every four weeks. 

Leave areas of your lawn uncut - As well as the shorter-growing species such as daisies, white clover and bird's foot trefoil, many flowers that need to grow taller in order to flower. Ox-eye daisies, red clover and knapweed can flourish in corners of the garden that are left to grow - and they look lovely as well.