What is ‘Nature Isn’t Neat’?
Nature Isn’t Neat is an approach that encourages us all to alter the way we manage grassland on our verges, open spaces and parks to benefit nature.
Grasslands in green spaces are allowed to grow in the spring and summer to create meadow areas and space for nature.
The Nature isn’t Neat project is establishing joined-up green space management to create wildflower-rich pollinator habitats across Gwent local authority areas – Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, and Torfaen – as part of the Gwent Green Grid Partnership.
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Let us know what you think of the changes, you can show support or highlight areas for us to improve
Take part in our simple citizen science scheme and help us find out what pollinators are in your local grasslands
Our code of practice and videos will show you how to manage your own green space the Nature isn’t Neat way
What are the Benefits?
By letting areas of grassland grow we’re encouraging more wildflowers to flower for longer, providing food and habitat for wildlife and pollinating insects like bees and butterflies.
Not only does it benefit nature, by allowing plants to grow bigger roots they store more carbon in the soil and help mitigate climate change. Bigger roots also create more air in the soil and help reduce the impact of flooding.
Environments which support a wider range of wildlife, benefits people’s health and mental wellbeing, while encouraging them to slow down and enjoy watching flowers, insects and other wildlife.
How we will manage green spaces?
The alternative way of managing is not a cost cutting exercise, green spaces will be continually managed to meet resident’s needs. Edges of pathways and verges on road junctions will be cut frequently to maintain safety. In large open spaces, recreational areas and sports pitches will be maintained and pathways cut through meadows to create walkways.
Have more questions? Read our FAQ
Cut and Collect
At the end of the summer, green spaces will be mown short once the wildflowers have seeded, mimicking the traditional way meadows were managed. Cuttings are taken away reducing the nutrient level in the soil and stopping thick grasses from smothering the wildflowers. Over a few years, this process will increase the abundance and diversity and wildflowers and make our green spaces more beautiful.
The changes we make will help to combat the biodiversity and climate crisis and contributes to the duty Public Authorities have to maintain and enhance biodiversity.
Successful pilots to reduce areas normally cut frequently have improved biodiversity across the Gwent. This year, the Nature Isn’t Neat approach to management is being coordinated to cover wider areas across Gwent.
The project which is to be delivered as part of the Gwent Green Grid Partnership, will engage with local communities across South-East Wales, raising awareness of pollinator decline and encouraging community ownership and empowerment to deliver actions that will help them recover.
Activities and events are planned for 2022 to raise awareness of pollinator decline and promote pollinator friendly management, so look out for further updates on the website or our Twitter page.
The project which is to be delivered as part of the Gwent Green Grid Partnership, the project is supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe Investing in Rural Areas and is funded by the Welsh Government’s Enabling of Natural Resources and Well-being Grant.