Training and Resources
The Nature isn’t Neat approach focuses on allowing more nature back into our green spaces by being less ‘tidy’ and allowing wildflowers and grass to grow.
However, it is not just letting everything go wild. Traditional meadows are highly managed habitats and in urban green space there are many considerations to ensure that they meet resident’s needs.
Code of Practice
We have developed this Code of Practice based on core grassland management principles which is being adopted by our 5 local authorities grounds teams. These principles ensure that safety and recreation is maintained so that there is space for nature and people.
If you are responsible for managing any grassland, whether public or private you can follow these principles to make your green space more biodiverse. The Code of Practice can be applied at any scale of site, from small areas to large sites, it all helps to tackle the pollinator decline we are facing.
Cut and Collect
The most important aspect of managing grassland for biodiversity is cutting and removing the vegetation – otherwise known as cut and collect. This is done after the wildflowers have flowered and set seed.
Annual cutting prevents vigorous grasses smothering the more delicate wildflowers and lets light get to the germinating plants next spring.
Removing the cuttings prevents them from decomposing and adding nutrients back into the soil. Nutrient-rich soil ensures low diversity as the most vigorous grasses and flower outgrow all the others and crowd them out. The most biodiverse grasslands have low nutrient levels, where delicate species can flourish.
To begin learning the names of the wildflowers you will see popping up in grasslands during the spring and summer, we’ve made a simple guide to some of the most important wildflowers for pollinators.
Leaflet and FAQ
This helpful leaflet explains the Nature isn’t Neat approach and answers some of the most frequently asked questions.
The Welsh Government is looking for more organisations to get involved to create more meadows for wildlife. They have also produced a page of resources and frequently asked questions to help encourage similar changes to grassland management to be taken up across Wales.
This post is also available in: Welsh