Give the mower a rest

Sir, – The garden is a great source of pleasure for those of us who are lucky to have one. There are many who see the perfect mowed lawn as the epitome of good gardening. A new campaign in the UK called No Mow May encourages gardeners to leave their mowers in the shed and transform their lawns into havens of biodiversity. A recent study in the prestigious science journal Nature shows that many pollinating insects are in decline. We don’t have to give up mowing but we can do it less often and perhaps leave parts of the lawn unmowed.

The results are indisputable: changing the way we mow can result in a 10-fold increase in the amount of nectar available to bees and other pollinators. The new mowing regime in the UK saw an increase in the growth of daisies, speedwell and creeping buttercup. After stopping mowing for one month, participants saw a resurgence of white clover, selfheal and bird’s foot trefoil. The average square-metre patch of lawn surveyed after the experiment produced enough nectar to support almost four honey bees per day.

Let us follow this good practice here and give the mower a rest in May. – Yours, etc,