Dont Mow Let It Grow
Northern Ireland's traditional flower-rich meadows (hay meadows/semi-natural grasslands) are unique because of our geography, climate and traditional management practices. They are an integral part of our cultural and natural heritage. Our meadows support more flowering plants than any other Northern Ireland habitat type. Because of the diversity of flowering plants they in turn support an array of pollinating insects including bees, butterflies and moths. True hay meadows have now largely disappeared because of major changes in agricultural practices but road verges and amenity open space grasslands can be managed in such a way as to replicate hay meadow habitat.
Don’t Mow, Let It Grow project will focus on the conservation of semi-natural grassland over the next three years. Specifically on the management of road verges and amenity grasslands across the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area. This exciting project is led by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, working in partnership with Transport NI and Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
It will look at different ways of managing semi natural grasslands to show how small changes in management give big benefits to biodiversity and ecosystem services. The project will identify trial verges and amenity grassland sites in order to:
- highlight and develop a range of management options
- assess biodiversity, ecosystem services and cost benefits of this alternative management
- train land managers and volunteers in management options, grassland selection, species identification, Invasive Alien Species and monitoring
- promote the benefits to wider public
A major outcome will be the production of a practical management toolkit, covering all aspects of this project that any organisation can use to show the benefits and implement similar improved operations in their management.
Check out the projects dedicated website where you can find out lots more about the project, upload pictures of what you spot on the verges and your local amenity sites and even get involved in the project. There are lots of ways to volunteer, whatever your skills may be. From surveying sites to helping with admin or updating the website, there are lots of different ways to help out. To find out more visit http://dontmowletitgrow.com/
This project is supported by The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery (HLF)