Wild mowing comes to Wanstead
A new wildlife mowing regime is up and running in a number of park areas and road verges around Wanstead. Grass in these designated areas will be left to grow long and naturalise with wildflowers by mowing less frequently. The pilot project is a collaboration between Wild Wanstead, Redbridge Council and Vision RCL. It’s a new way of doing things for the contractors who cut the grass, so it’s a learning curve and a few areas may get mown accidentally at first, but the project marks the start of a different approach to making Wanstead's urban green spaces more inviting to wildlife.
With huge losses in insect life and a third of wild bees and hoverflies in decline, everyone needs to play their part in creating a habitat where the ecosystem that we humans rely on can thrive – and that includes the council.
The aim of the project is to maximise the diversity of plants in the unmown areas to provide a habitat and food for insects and other invertebrates, themselves on the menu for creatures like birds, hedgehogs, frogs and toads. Changing the way land is managed has been shown to help address the catastrophic declines in insect numbers, at least to some degree. Amsterdam has achieved a 45% increase in its bee population since 2000 with approaches including wildflower areas and banning use of pesticides on public land.