Waverley Borough Council is taking part in “No Mow May”, organised by wild plant conservation charity Plantlife which encourages people to say no to mowing during the month.
All of Waverley’s parks and open spaces, housing sites, amenity areas and verges are being left uncut during May; the only areas that will be mowed are sports pitches, playgrounds and senior living housing sites.
In addition, and as part of the council’s pesticide policy and action plan, there will be manual removal of weeds from hard surfaces, playgrounds and other areas rather than the use of a herbicide.
Councillor Liz Townsend, Waverley Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Parks & Leisure, said:
“As a council working towards becoming carbon-neutral by 2030, one of our pledges was to review our grass cutting regime and promote rewilding, so we fully support this fantastic initiative. It will give our green spaces time to flourish and boost the numbers of wild flowers that provide valuable food for pollinators.
“Everyone can get involved, whether that is locking up the mower for the month, or just leaving a patch of lawn uncut.”
Waverley Borough Council has already enhanced a number of areas over the past year, including increasing meadow and wildflower areas to over 183,000 m2 to improve biodiversity and help pollinators - that’s over 45 acres or 24 football pitches or 146 Olympic size swimming pools, it’s bigger than the grounds of Buckingham Palace and has the potential to be home to millions of insects.
The council has also put in place a reduction in the quantity of pesticides used, with a trial of non-pesticide weed control having been started last year in some areas of the borough. In addition, the council’s grounds maintenance contractor Continental Landscapes Ltd took delivery of three new electric vehicles at its Waverley depot last year meaning lower vehicle emissions and less noise when undertaking maintenance. All grass cuttings and prunings are composted and used on council sites with the surplus offered to local allotments and community gardens.
For more information about the 'No Mow May' challenge and to find out how you can get involved, visit the the Plantlife website.