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No Mow May: SDC urge you to put away your lawnmower

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Stroud District Council will be leaving almost 100,000 square metres of grass uncut as part of the national environmental campaign No Mow May and is hoping residents will follow its lead.

In the council’s latest resident survey, 82% of people in the Stroud district said they were in support of No Mow May.

The national campaign, led by charity Plantlife, encourages grass to grow and wildflowers to bloom during May, which in turn enhances and protects wildlife and cuts carbon emissions.

The council is responsible for approximately 900,000sqm of maintained grassland in parks, housing estates, closed cemeteries and on roadside verges which it cuts on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council.

By leaving a proportion uncut, grassland will flourish, encouraging the growth of wildflowers – a valuable food source for pollinators – and providing shelter for invertebrates, small mammals, and reptiles.

Further measures to enhance wildlife in the district were set at an Environment Committee meeting on 21 March when it was agreed that new initiatives would have a positive impact on at least 25% of the council’s total grassland.

These include reducing the frequency of cutting grass around the base of the council’s 1,500 trees to once a year to improve the health of trees and create an additional 18,000 square metres of wildlife habitat. 

Spring bulbs and wildflower seeds will be planted at the base of trees to aerate the soil and increase biodiversity and further opportunities to cut grass less frequently will be assessed throughout the year, with new areas of wildflower meadows being created. 

“We’re embracing the No Mow movement this year by leaving large areas of SDC-owned grassland untouched during May and are encouraging people and other organisations to do the same,” said SDC Director of Place, Brendan Cleere. 

“We need to rethink our ideas about what gardens and public spaces should look like by making it the norm to leave areas of long grass all year round for wildlife which will also have an impact on the climate emergency.”

The measures are aligned with SDC’s ambitious 2030 Strategy which aims for the district to become carbon neutral by 2030, and its Council Plan to protect and enhance the district’s green infrastructure and biodiversity. 

Stroud District Council will also be taking part in Biodiversity Week from 20-27 May. Led by Gloucestershire County Council the campaign will celebrate biodiversity in the county and encourage people to find out how they can get involved in protecting biodiversity.

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