To Mow or Not to Mow?

Many lawns, verges and public spaces in Ruddington are a little ‘wilder’ at the moment – as ‘No Mow May’ comes to an end.

Promoted each year by the charity ‘Plantlife’, the initiative encourages individuals and organisations to leave mowers in sheds during the month of May so that wildflowers among the grass can grow wild to provide a feast for pollinators, tackle pollution, and lock away atmospheric carbon below ground. The question is, should more of us leave more ground untended throughout the year, not just for these 31 days?

Gordon Dyne of South Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

Well, Gordon Dyne of South Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust thinks so – and earlier this month he wrote a letter to Ruddington Parish Council (RPC) encouraging them to do just that. He points out that Ruddington has a lot of parish green space within the village, but says all of it is mown so regularly that there is little opportunity for the wildflowers and insects that are so vital for our long term wellbeing to exist.

“Whilst there has been some tree planting, which is helpful, areas of longer grass would help make the village a more wildlife friendly place for bees, moths and butterflies” says Mr Dyne. “Both village schools’ grounds have wilder sections, although with St Peter’s this is a well established woodland copse. The Parish Council should follow the excellent precedent set by Rushcliffe Borough Council who since 2021 have been creating a network of ‘No Mow’ sites on their grassland areas. This now encompasses 30 locations, each with a selected area on which the grass (and wildflowers within it) remains unmown between March and September, allowing lovely more wildlife friendly grassy areas to flourish and where appropriate include mown paths. In virtually all of Ruddington’s green spaces there are areas of various sizes that could be used for ‘no mow’ spring and summer without impinging on other recreational activities.”

In response, an RPC spokesperson told us: “We do have a ’no mow’ area already, on Vicarage Lane, where we have sown wildflower seeds. This happened in 2021. However, Councillors are keen to expand this and will be discussing it at a future meeting.”

Elsewhere in Ruddington, a ‘no mow’ policy has already been introduced at Rushcliffe Country Park – where extensive wildflower meadows have been actively increasing throughout, to help improve biodiversity and encourage more wild areas.

Gordon Dyne’s appeal is part of a wider campaign dedicated to ‘Achieving a Wilder Nottinghamshire’. Over the next few years Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is running a major project across the county promoting wider engagement with wildlife.

“This is part of a long term ideal to achieve a significant growth in action for wildlife across the community” he reveals. “The belief is that, if the nature conservation movement can develop a sufficient groundswell of activity and opinion in favour of wildlife, local and national governments will also pay far more heed to the issue. It is a major ask but NWT is committed to getting out into the community helping new groups and individuals to find their feet with direct advice, signposting etc, as well as existing wildlife groups. In a village like Ruddington, people may be able to assist a in setting up a group (like ‘Wild Things Keyworth’) to create a more hedgehog friendly village, or advise an allotment group in incorporating wildlife friendly features, or in campaigning for more wildlife friendly green spaces in the village.”

Currently is teaming up with Wild Things Keyworth to give away the lovely ‘Ruddington Hedgehog Highway’ wooden carving pictured below.  Where fences have been erected, village householders are being encouraged to cut out a 13cm gap at ground level to enable hedgehogs to roam between neighbouring gardens and green spaces. Whether you’re part of a group, organisation or an individual, if you have (or can create) a dedicated hedgehog hole on your property to allow access for the nocturnal creatures, you’re invited to get in touch if you’d like this wooden arch to fix across the dedicated gap. It’s constructed from reclaimed wood, by Simon Dunstan in Wymeswold, with artwork by Liz Waddell of Keyworth.

‘Wild Things Keyworth’ founder Jennifer Manning-Ohren says she wants it to go somewhere suitable in Ruddington: “As an additional gift, we would be happy to make a new gap through concrete, wood or brick in Ruddington as part of this prize – with a view also to help get Ruddington started with their own Hedgehog Highway team.”

You can read further details about this, and how to get in touch (by the deadline of Friday 2nd June 2023 please), >>HERE<<.

There are also other opportunities for individuals (or neighbours) to make gardens more wildlife friendly – including things such as mini ponds, nest boxes, bee friendly plants and wildflower rich lawns. Gordon Dyne highlights their website as having some useful items under the ‘Wildlife Gardening’ tab. In addition this website also lists other local ‘Friends of’ groups, local nature reserves and local wildlife related activities.

He adds: “The key message from ‘Achieving a Wilder Nottinghamshire’ is that in a time of growing pressure on wildlife from both development and climate change, every little helps. If there is something wildlife related that YOU feel should be addressed, the Wilder Notts team are there to give a helping hand in achieving your goal.”

If you would like to generally become actively engaged with supporting wildlife, and want know more, please visit

To get involved with ’30 Days Wild’ – Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s annual national nature challenge where you’re asked to do one ‘wild’ thing a day every day throughout June – the link is

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