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Working together for wildflowers

This year, it seems there has been more emphasis than ever on saving our native plants. Since the 1930s the UK has lost 97% of our meadows due to the expansion of urbanised areas and of farmland after the Second World War.

Primrose, bluebells and creeping buttercup

According to the wildlife gardening forum, UK gardens equal 433,000 hectares, the equivalent of a fifth of Wales. In England alone, our garden area is more than four and a half times larger than that of our National Nature Reserves. Boosting the biodiversity of our gardens could make a big impact on connecting the UK’s pollinators and saving species on the brink of extinction.

I was keen to embrace Plantlife’s ‘no mow may’ campaign this year and only half way through the month I am already noticing a wealth of native plants popping up across my lawn, which wouldn’t usually have chance to make an appearance before the lawn mower thwarted them.

Primrose, dandelion, bramble and creeping buttercup

Species such as hart’s tongue fern, common polypody, chickweed, primrose, bluebells, cuckoos pint, storksbill and iris have made an appearance along with the commonly spotted lawn weeds such as daisies and dandelions. As many as ten different species are growing within a square metre of lawn, and several species pop up between paving stones.

Whilst observing and identifying the new variety of plant species cropping up in my garden, I have also noticed several species of insect, such as tawny mining bees, white legged snake millipedes, damselfly larvae and white-lipped snails that I hadn’t noticed before, maybe in response to the wider range of plants to feed on and shelter beneath. Any boost in insect populations will no doubt help the food chain above them thrive and help ensure that I will be able to appreciate nature in my own garden well in to the future.

In recent times we have appreciated nature more than ever and now we need to give back, put away our mowers, let those weeds grow and help nature thrive.

Plantlife – No Mow May

60 Second Species

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