No Mow May for Estate amenity areas

04 May 2023

The Estate is redoubling its commitment to improve biodiversity in the area by replacing poor quality amenity grass at four sites in Scheme of Management areas with pre-grown wildflower turf. It will also support the No Mow May initiative by reducing mowing for the month, across many of its grassy areas.

Turf laying is nearing completion at both sides of Burbage Circus and outside Gail’s on Dulwich Village. These have been selected to cope with shade or full sun at either site.

Elsewhere, new native hedging has been planted along the boundary of the Orchard Field. Aromatic Hidcote lavender and sun loving Senecio also now help pollinating insects along formerly bare earth beds at the Zelkova tree corner site on Dulwich Common.

In total, 125 square meters of flower meadow and 180 linear metres of hedging have been planted. There are plans for more sites to be included over the next three years, including the Old Burial Ground, Grange Lane hedgerows, Low Cross Wood Lane and Rock Hill.

The greatest benefit to biodiversity when maintaining verges and lawns comes from encouraging flowering plants to increase as a percentage of the grass sward.

The Estate will allow grassed areas formerly mown on a minimum two-week basis to thrive uncut for the whole month. This helps insects and other wildlife that are the basis of a food chain upon which birds and other animals depend. Other significant benefits include helping to reduce storm water runoff and the effect of airborne pollution, particularly near schools.

A change to maintenance may be mistaken for unkept. Initially however a selection of sites will be managed in this way so that centre sections of the lawns are cut less frequently. The perimeter of some sites will be maintained to a lower and more frequently maintained height, with areas currently used for play or required for access cut regularly to give a cleaner edge.

More information on No Mow May can be found here.