As an official Bee Friendly City, we are reviewing Newport's grass management and mowing regimes.
We have over 25 acres managed as pollinator sites to attract bees, butterflies, beetles and other insects.
Although many of our verges, junctions and roundabouts will continue to be cut for road safety and pedestrian access, in selected areas we have changed the grass, verge and hedgerow cutting regimes.
No Mow May 2021
We have pledged our support for Plantlife's No Mow May 2021 campaign.
The campaign encourages individuals, councils and stakeholders to help bees, butterflies and other wildlife by letting wild flowers grow on lawns and green spaces throughout May instead of mowing them.
The move to support the campaign follows on from successful trials of different measures of grass management, and different wildflower seed mixes in our designated ‘leave to grow’ pilot sites (detailed below).
As a result, regular mowing schedules across the city will begin in June.
Grass cutting will still take place before June in a number of places in order to:
- Maintain visibility for road users
- Keep traffic signage and sight lines clear
- Maintain margins and access on footways and cycle routes
- Maintain parks, sports grounds, cemetery sites and access to play and recreational green spaces
In mown areas, grass cuttings are often left on the ground which unfortunately is not good for wild flora and fauna.
Wild flowers and grasses thrive in nutrient poor soil.
Leaving cut grass uncollected means that the nutrients from the grass goes back into the soil - not good for the wild flowers we want to encourage.
If grass is continually cut and left, the result is an area of low beneficial grass and invasive plants such as dock and creeping thistle which are not ideal for biodiversity or people.
Areas that are left to grow need to be cut and collected at the end of the summer.
Removing the cut grass deprives the soil of nutrients and creates the perfect environment for more species of flora and fauna to flourish.
Cut and collect
With help from the Environmental Growth Fund we have purchased machinery to help us change our grass management.
Working with communities, we have established pilot areas so that we can train our team and trial a new method of managing grass to help to set us up for more successful sustainable working practices in the future.
Pilot 'leave to grow' areas
Look out for some of Newport's pilot 'leave to grow' sites as you travel around, including the A48 at Machen, Sterndale Bennett Road, Pencarn Way, Ruskin Way and Oystermouth Way.
A48, the Machen mile
In Newport there are a number of sites that are managed for the benefit of pollinators, from floral displays on roundabouts to large meadows.
Areas include St Julians Local Nature Reserve, Wharf Road, Wentwood meadow, Allt-yr-yn Local Nature Reserve and St Woolos Cemetery.
St. Woolos cemetery
Schools and community groups
We work with schools and community volunteer groups to undertake Bee Friendly activities.
St Woolos Primary School
Support bees in your back garden
Watch Lucy's Back Garden Biodiversity Bee Friendly film for tips on how to make your garden come alive with busy bees!