Thursday, 6 May 2021

"Do nothing for nature" and help bees to thrive

Tempting as it is to bring out the lawnmower on the first warm days of spring to trim the lawn and weeds that pop up, the charity Plantlife is asking us to “do nothing for nature” this month.

The ‘No Mow May’ campaign is encouraging gardeners to let plants traditionally seen as weeds, such as dandelions and daisies, thrive to provide much-needed food for pollinators. These vital creatures struggle to find food in spring and early summer, and rely on the early wild flowers that bloom, as well as blossom. By cutting our lawns, we are depriving bees, wasps and butterflies of nutrition. Coupled with fewer green spaces and natural habitats, it is increasingly difficult for them to find sufficient food.

                                                                   A bee on an aster. Picture: Alamy/PA.

There are almost 100 different species of pollinators that rely on wildlife-friendly environments to thrive. An ideal garden offers a mix of both ‘wild’ flowers together with cultivated ones, shrubs and trees. Plantlife is encouraging not only gardeners, but park keepers and schools to alter their frequency of mowing to allow lawns to flourish and benefit wildlife.

For more information about No Mow May, visit

A lawn with wild flower borders, shown below, can be just as attractive as a closely mown one, and allows bees to thrive.

It’s fascinating to watch the different species of visitors to flowers, as butterflies and bees emerge to visit.

You can encourage bees to live in your garden by positioning ‘bug houses’ in sheltered sunny places (see an image of one below). Many bee species don’t live in hives, but are solitary and seek small secluded places to breed and shelter. A bug house provides the ideal environment and encourages them to stay local to your garden.

So think twice before mowing the lawn, and help our insect friends to thrive!

To find out more about how to make your garden ‘wildlife friendly’, get yourself a copy of ‘Wildlife Garden – Create a home for garden-friendly animals, insects and birds’ by Ursula Kopp, published by Hubble & Hattie and pictured below. It’s available at

                                                                      copyright Jax10289/istock

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