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Wildlife Friendly Grass Cutting

One of the key actions approved as part of the Biodiversity Action Plan (PDF) [428KB] that was adopted by Council in July 2023, was to

Review our mowing schedule to improve our parks for wildlife.

Working with the Community Hubs we have now identified a list of areas on our parks and open spaces where it will be possible to reduce the amount of mowing that is carried out this spring and summer without adversely affecting the use of the site by residents, balancing recreation and conservation on our land. 

The reduction in mowing aims to improve the biodiversity value of our sites.  Even the common flowers like dandelion and daisy have a huge value for hungry pollinators like bees, butterflies and other insects. 

By taking some areas out of regular mowing we are not only helping our pollinators, but the longer grass creates the structure of habitat required for insects like grasshoppers and spiders to make their homes and complete their lifecycles. 

The longer grass also provides cover for small mammals like voles, mice and hedgehogs to move around our parks and open spaces.  The seed heads will provide food for birds like finches.

When we improve the area for insects the whole food chain benefits.  Increased numbers of insects bring in more birds and other wildlife that feed on insects.  This in turn attracts some of the top predators like sparrowhawks, owls and stoats. 

We need the bees and other pollinators as they are vital to helping plants to grow and produce food.  Bees are in decline across the country and whilst we could probably survive without them our diets would be poorer and less nutritious.  The area we live in would also be duller without the colourful plants and trees that are pollinated by bees, butterflies, insects, birds, bats and small mammals.  

Wilder areas also capture and store more carbon than mown grass, so we are doing a little bit extra for the climate too!

These changes mean that we will taking some areas beyond No Mow May (a national campaign by Plantlife) and letting flowers bloom for the whole growing season from March to September.

Linking areas of lower maintenance to other existing habitats like woodland, hedgerows and meadows means that the wildlife has increased space and moving between areas and expanding their range becomes possible. 

Where we have created larger areas of long grass, we will mow paths through them to allow residents to walk through and enjoy the wildflowers and wildlife.   

As this is the first time this has been done at some of our sites, we don't know what flowers and plants we will find blooming over the coming months.  We will be monitoring all the areas and keeping an eye on what appears as this may affect how we manage the site in the future.  The areas will be cut in the autumn. 

A simple identification guide is available if you would like to learn more about the plants that are blooming on our parks and open spaces and the bees and butterflies that pollinate them. 

Below there is a list of sites by area, along with a link to a map of each site.  The maps show the existing areas that we manage for biodiversity in blue and the new areas where we will reduce the grass cutting in green. 

Central Villages

Eastern Parishes, Bamber Bridge and Walton le Dale



Western Parishes




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