Residents in Bath and North East Somerset are being encouraged to give nature a month off by not cutting their grass as part of No Mow May.

The campaign by wild plant conservation charity, Plantlife, started in 2019. The charity highlights how long grass provides a feast for pollinators, tackles pollution, reduces heat extremes and locks away atmospheric carbon below ground.

Sarah Shuttleworth, senior ecological advisor at Plantlife, said: “No Mow May matters massively because leaving lawns to just let it be in May allows a wonderful array of wild plants to flower and flourish. This floral diversity provided by more relaxed mowing regimes provides a rich food source for a wealth of wildlife through the summer.”

Bath & North East Somerset Council is supporting No Mow May by leaving some areas of Sydney Gardens, Hedgemead Park, Henrietta Park and Alice Park in Bath unmown for a month and leaving some verges across the district uncut until June.

Last year’s No Mow May resulted in the council’s Parks team finding rare orchids in Hedgemead Park, which begin to appear by the first week of June if grass is left un-mown.

The council is encouraging residents to join No Mow May by letting lawns grow to provide vital food needed by pollinators like bees and butterflies. People can also register their lawns via Plantlife's website to help the charity understand how many lawns and green spaces are being allowed to grow this May.

Important plants for pollinators that thrive in grasslands include Lady’s Smock or ‘cuckoo flower’, which flowers in May, as well as the oxeye daisy which is already budding in some places and will flower through June.

Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Reducing mowing is so important because it can significantly help plants, animals and small creatures to become more established. There are many species of butterfly whose caterpillars need long grass.

“Allowing flowering plants like buttercups to bloom attracts the pollinating insects which our food relies on.

“All year round we keep our verge mowing schedule to a minimum while ensuring motorists still have clear lines of sight and we have also reduced how often we mow our open spaces. There’s a balance to be struck between supporting biodiversity and practical use of green spaces and private gardens, but No Mow May is a simple and effective way we can all do our bit for nature.”