Somerset Council is encouraging the county to get behind this year’s No Mow May campaign and highlighting its own work to ‘let it grow’ where possible – until May and beyond.
The national initiative encourages people to help pollinating insects and spring flowers by not mowing their lawns until the end of May.
Anyone with a patch of land, however small, can get involved and do their bit to promote biodiversity and support wildlife. For more information visit plantlife.org.uk/campaigns/nomowmay
Somerset Council is committed to a greener, more sustainable county and has changed its approach to grass cutting as part of its Climate Strategy.
Its grassland management strategy, written with the help of Somerset Wildlife Trust, means the Council keeps cutting to a minimum, so long as it is safe and does not stop people enjoying its parks and public spaces.
Busy areas have to be mown so they can be accessed by all, but elsewhere the strategy is to let things grow longer.
There is less frequent cutting of flowering lawns, annual cuts for some grassed areas, and grass left to grow around trees and along the borders of hedges.
So long as it is safe and does not affect visibility, the cutting of roadside verges is also kept to a minimum.
Councillor Sarah Dyke, Lead Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “Maintaining and enriching Somerset’s biodiversity is an important part of making the county greener and more sustainable.
“The council has an important role to play, but everyone can do their bit by letting things grow a little more – not just up until the end of May, but throughout the growing season.
“Now that we are a single council we will be working hard to look across the whole of the local authority land in Somerset to see where we can improve and do more.”
Nearly 80 per cent of Somerset’s rural verge cutting takes place outside of No Mow May, with a maximum cut of a single one metre swathe of verge unless there are specific safety risks.
That adds up to an additional 3km of highway verge for wildlife – roughly 191 Somerset Cricket Club pitches-worth of bees, bugs and wildflowers.
The cutting programme is reviewed every season to ensure wildlife is a priority. You can find out more about the programme and where cutting is taking place on the Somerset Council website.
Outside of these parks, public spaces and roadside verges, there is a rolling programme aiming to cut every three to four weeks.