The Town Council have agreed to support a proposal by their Conservation Park Warden, Lex Vokes’ proposal to back a national campaign No Mow May by Plantlife to not mow some verge areas around the town.
In addition to Greys Road and an area opposite Badgemore School in Hop Gardens which have previously been left to encourage wild flowers and increase nectar supplies for bees, the new trial areas will be the Fairmile, along Reading Road, a small area on Deanfield Road (leading to Waterworks Lane footpath) and an unoccupied area at the Fairmile cemetery. Notices will be installed to inform the public in these areas.
Research undertaken by citizen scientists across the UK who have taken part in Plantlife’s Every Flower Counts – the largest-ever survey of the humble lawn – reveal not only the astonishing diversity of wild flowers growing on Britain’s lawns, but that incredibly simple changes in mowing can result in enough nectar for ten times more bees and other pollinators.
Sally Rankin of Greener Henley Wildlife Group, who originally instigated the Greys Road area. is in support of this initiative and said it would be a wonderful further opportunity to help both flora and fauna.
The Town Council is currently contracted to 2 cuts a year which are paid for by Oxfordshire County Council on their land and this will not interfere with
this contractual duty.
The Town Council has a statutory duty to consider the effects of its decisions on biodiversity as the Council has declared a climate emergency. The report submitted by Lex said that this initiative would greatly help with this.