Laura Sharman 09 April 2020

Reduced mowing by councils will protect wild flowers, says charity

Reduced mowing by councils will protect wild flowers, says charity image

A conservation charity has said the lockdown will benefit wild flowers and help tackle the climate emergency as councils are forced to cancel roadside mowing.

Plantlife said that some councils are still cutting roadside verges when species are in peak flowering, affecting the health and diversity of crucial habitats.

It has previously warned that bad management and air pollution has caused the diversity of wildflowers on road verges to fall by 20%.

New research from Plantlife shows that cutting just twice a year opposed to the usual four times would reduce CO2 emissions by 22,754 tonnes a year.

Dr Trevor Dines, Plantlife's Botanical Specialist, said: ‘An unintended but understandable consequence of lockdown may be reduced mowing that has the potential to benefit wild plants and the bees, butterflies, birds, bats and bugs that depend on them for survival.

‘For too long, scalping verges in the pursuit of neatness has been flattening wild plant communities. When verges are cut early in spring – sometimes as early as April – most flowers just don’t stand a chance. Summer has been disappearing from verges as colourful flowers cannot set seed before the mowers strike.’

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