Hillingdon joined 'No Mow May' to help boost local biodiversity
Tuesday 1 June: Hillingdon Council has taken another step in its ambition to be one of London's greenest boroughs by not mowing selected grass verges and green spaces during May.
The council joined with the eco-friendly 'No Mow May' project organised by wildlife conservation charity Plantlife and championed by hundreds of organisations and gardeners throughout the UK.
Hillingdon Council currently has a pilot project where grass is being allowed to grow long in certain areas. These pilots were a good fit with the requirements for 'No Mow May' and enhance the authority's position as an environmental champion.
Highly-manicured short grass looks neat, but has a low ecological value as it benefits fewer species. Letting grass grow longer encourages other species to grow amongst it and this in turn increases the number and variety of plants and animals, enriching our local ecology.
In January 2020, the council declared a climate emergency and is taking proactive steps to enhance and improve local biodiversity levels to make the borough somewhere residents and wildlife can thrive.
This year's pilot project, which is taking place in various locations across Hillingdon, will complement a return of the popular flower meadows in some of the borough's roadside verges, that proved incredibly popular with both residents and pollinating insects last year.
A further pilot scheme in Long Lane, Ickenham, features dedicated 'coppice planting' with lots of tiny sapling trees, called 'whips' being planted that will grow to create a wildlife haven.
The trial grass sites will be monitored before and after the scheme to check for an increase in plant and animal species and if successful, the council will consider expanding it in forthcoming years.
Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration, said: "We know residents and visitors loved seeing our flowering roadside verges last year.
"So, as part of our efforts to address the climate crisis, we wanted to trial allowing grass to grow elsewhere in the borough. It helps make Hillingdon a more attractive place for vital pollinating insects and the other plant and animal species they bring.
"Boosting our local biodiversity builds a healthier, happier local ecology which in turn benefits residents through crop pollination and the sheer variety of wildlife."
The council is also currently consulting residents on its Climate Change Action Plan and asking for their feedback on its approach to tackling climate change and any ideas for other ways it can make the borough greener.
Have your say on the consultation before it closes on Sunday 20 June at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/climate-consultation.
There's also still time for schoolchildren across the borough to take part in our climate change competition before it closes on Saturday 5 June.
Children are being encouraged to be creative with their entries using their preferred medium, such as artwork, poetry, or music, to tell us how they feel about climate change, with Amazon gift vouchers available as a prize.
The competition is open to all children in Nursery, Reception, KS1, KS2 and KS3.
Entries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org including the pupil's name, age, year group, school and a brief description of their piece.
Find out more about the No Mow May project at www.plantlife.org.uk/everyflowercounts.