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  • Writer's pictureWildlife Friendly Otley

Let your grass grow! It’s a boost for bees

Wildlife Friendly Otley want to increase the biodiversity in our town by encouraging gardeners to resist the urge to mow our lawns…

‘No Mow May’ is a national campaign launched by ‘Plantlife’ (wild plant conservation charity) calling on gardeners all over the country to lock up their lawnmowers for the month of May to see what wildflowers grow up and what wildlife they attract.

Research has revealed that mowing your lawn less frequently can provide enough nectar sugar for ten times the number of bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and other pollinators.

Results from Plantlife’s lawn survey in 2021 showed that gardeners who took part reported up to 250 species of plants, (including wild garlic, wild strawberry, declining orchids, and the rare meadow flower snakeshead fritillary) flowering within the grasses.

Lawns are often deserts for insects and flowers, kept under tight control by regular mowing and weed removal. But left to their own devices, those ordinary weeds can provide vital food. Dandelions are a particular superfood for bees and butterflies. Despite being outnumbered by daisies 85 to 1 on a typical 100m2 lawn, they produce 9% of the lawn's pollen and 37% of its nectar sugar!

“Too much of our countryside and fields are no-go areas for wildlife because of pesticides and herbicides. Our gardens are a lifeline for creatures, and allowing our lovely native wildflowers grow is a win for our wildlife and for us.” said River Six, ecologist and Secretary of Wildlife Friendly Otley.

Community climate action group, Otley 2030 are also supporting the No Mow May campaign. Their spokesperson said: “This is really exciting! By simply mowing your lawn less often, leaving some of it uncut, or cutting swathes through longer grass you can have a spectacular effect on the population of pollinators. The wildflowers which are able to thrive are lifesavers for our bees and butterflies and beautiful for us to enjoy.”

Wildlife Friendly Otley is aiming to get a source of food, shelter and water for wildlife into most of Otley’s gardens by 2030. Using its Wildlife Pledge campaign as a leaping off point, it is offering free advice and guidance for the people of Otley to open their gardens to wildlife. Visit or email for more information

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