As part of a nationwide initiative, Wirral Council took part in Plantlife’s “No Mow May” campaign . The idea behind it is to allow verges and parkland to flourish and maintain a natural habitat for bees and other wildlife at an important time of year.
The council set aside various grassed areas across the borough that would be excluded from the usual mowing schedule for the month of May, with mowing resuming throughout June.
Wirral resident Ged McBeath had some concerns about the council’s participation in suspending mowing and decided to conduct a poll on the Facebook group ‘Wirral Gossip Original ‘ to find out the views of other Wirral residents.
Regarding No Mow May, Ged asked the question, “Who thinks it’s a good idea and who doesn’t like it?”
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A total of 418 people have responded to the poll at the time of writing this article, with a resounding 326 people or 78% voting in favour of the council’s participation in No Mow May.
The Wirral Council website states that, “the frequency of grass maintenance will be reduced from 13 cuts per year to 10 cuts per year on all general grass areas in parks and public open spaces.” This will lead to “providing opportunities to encourage wildflowers to grow attracting bees, butterflies, moths and other insects to the area”
Full list of pollinator sites
- Lever Causeway – Bebington
- Church Road – Bebington
- Mill Park Drive – Eastham
- Sretham Close – Eastham
- Lowfield Avenue – Eastham
- Leasowe Road – Wallasey
- Mereworth – Caldy
- Oldfield Lane – Meols
- Farhall Road – Heswall
- Thingwall Road – Irby
- Arrowe Park Road
- Walby Close – Woodchurch
- Victoria Park – The sowing of yellow rattle (which parasitizes grasses so making it easier for flowering plants to flourish/ out compete grass)
- Plymyard Avenue/Eastham Rake – pilot area for seeding and plug planting
- Upton Bypass
Wildflower mix is sown and dug over at a number of roundabouts around Wirral.
All of these locations will be reviewed for next year’s schedule according to their suitability as a pollinator site.
Ged said, “I suffer from hay fever and it’s been quite bad recently. Also, I keep losing my dog in the park as the grass is bigger than her. I wanted to understand what other people’s thoughts are as I just felt like it was the council were cutting back on services to save money. Personally, I think it looks untidy but the vote was heavily in favour of it. So, it looks like the council have got it right for their community.”
Commenting on the poll people expressed their opinions; “I think leaving the verges is fine, but weeds and grass growing along gutters and wall edges etc should be removed. Areas would look much tidier instead of neglected. like they do now”, said one. Another said, “I would rather make the world a better place for wildlife than people, so I say don’t ever mow them.”
Some residents had also joined in by not mowing their lawns during May, “We have lots of Welsh poppies and bluebells and some wildflowers in the garden that bloom nice and early for the bees.”, said one Wirral ‘No Mow May’ participant.
Although Wirral council is now working its way through mowing the areas that were left wild for May, Plantlife is continuing the rewilding campaign through the summer months, promoting it via the hashtags #LetItBloomJune and #KneeHighJuly