Despite the lack of April showers in another unusually dry April, the May flowers are popping up
everywhere all over the village and along the lanes and in the hedgerows. It’s time to celebrate No
Mow May again! The charity Plantlife calls for us all to leave our lawns unmown to allow the wild
flowers that are dormant in the soil to flourish, providing a haven for insects, birds and hedgehogs.
The Parish Council will be mowing public areas of the village sensitively and selectively, trimming
only where necessary for safety and sightlines and to create pathways through areas of longer grass.
The Plantlife website (www.plantlife.org.uk ) gives advice on lawn management for eco-conscious
gardeners. Adopting No Mow May and continuing to mow less and at different lengths and
frequencies throughout the summer will increase the number and diversity of the wild flowers you
see. When it comes to providing vital nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other insects, every
flower counts. You can take part in Plantlife Every Flower Counts survey at the end of May and
again at the beginning of July: count the number of flowers in a square metre patch of lawn and the Plantlife people will tell you how much nectar the flowers are producing and how many pollinators they will feed, and give you your own Personal Nectar Score. In last year’s UK-wide survey, people reported more than 250 plant species in their lawns, including some rare ones like bee orchids.
Along with selective mowing, please hold off with the toxic sprays. Herbicides, particularly those
containing glyphosate, are environmentally disastrous. As well as killing the plants they are aimed
at, they get into the eco-system and destroy those insects, such as fireflies, whose life-cycle includes a ground-dwelling phase. And, depending on the quantity and location of the spraying, weedkillers not only poison the soil but also get into the water and add to the contamination of our waterways.
Last autumn and again this spring, members of our environmental group, Eco Timberscombe, were
out planting seeds throughout the village, so we’re keen to see what comes up. Let’s make this spring and summer the best yet for wild flowers in our village and throughout our beautiful parish!
Caitlin Collins, May 2022