Published: Thursday, 4 May 2023

Residents in Oxford are being encouraged to take part in No Mow May to help support wildflowers and long grasses, and provide a much-needed boost for wildlife.

No Mow May is Plantlife’s annual campaign encouraging people to not mow their gardens and green spaces during May. According to Countryfile, mowing your lawn less frequently can provide enough nectar sugar for ten times the amount of bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and other pollinators, and flowers such as dandelions are a particular superfood for bees and butterflies. 

This year, Oxford residents are encouraged to take part, and mark their involvement by printing out the poster on No Mow May poster to place in their gardens or windows. The poster is available on the Climate Action Oxfordshire website and there are three options to choose from - two to print and colour, and one that is already coloured.

The webpage also includes helpful advice on how to make your sign weatherproof and frequently asked questions. 

Participation in the initiative is voluntary.

Supporting biodiversity across Oxford

The campaign follows the Council announcing that it will be cutting all grass verges in the city once a year, starting in spring 2023. This follows two years of trials and taking into account feedback from local residents, stakeholders, and the County Council’s updated programme.

The Council will be continuing to ensure that sight lines are maintained for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians at highways junctions, and areas outside Council flats and homes will continued to be maintained, with cuttings taking place six times a year.

Verges that are cut regularly are often perceived as neater, however they do not create the best environment for plants and wildlife to thrive.  Allowing verges to grow means that wildflowers can flower and set seed.  This provides greater food sources for pollinators, such as bees, and enables the wildflower populations to flourish.

Signage is being installed on several grass verges across the city to make residents aware of the programme.

“Oxford has lots of unique wildlife right on our doorsteps and in our gardens. This No Mow May we are taking an updated approach to grass verge management across the city, and we want to encourage residents to do the same in their own gardens. Why not keep the mower in the shed for a little bit longer, and see what appears in your garden? I will be joining in and I am excited to see what blooms.”

Councillor Anna Railton, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford and Climate Justice

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