To encourage biodiversity and help address climate change we are managing some areas within public open spaces to benefit both people and wildlife.
Grassland management trials
To encourage biodiversity and help mitigate climate change we're now managing some areas in selected parks and other green spaces in a different way on a trial basis. These 'No Mow' trial areas have been selected to give more space for nature and help attract bees, butterflies and other insect pollinators by letting the grass and native plants grow and flower. We'll mow pathways through larger trial areas so you can enjoy them and we'll continue to mow all other areas to cater for other amenity interests. More diverse green spaces will help people connect with nature benefitting health and wellbeing.
All other amenity grass areas including path edges, margins of pavements and sight lines on road verges will be mown. 'No Mow' areas will not be mown. The cut and lift areas specified below will be cut and the arisings removed in September/October.
Your views matter
Our open spaces are for everyone to enjoy so its important that we take your views into consideration. Throughout 2022 we ran a public consultation with favourable results. Following on from this very successful trial, we've taken into account your suggestions and added a further 22 sites for 2023. The 2022 consultation has now closed and a new consultation covering the additional sites for 2023 will shortly be underway.
Wildlife and biodiversity monitoring opportunity
To help us plan how we can best support nature in future, we will be monitoring the flora and fauna at each of the trial sites so as to discover whether or not the sites are improving for biodiversity in subsequent years of altered management. If you like, you can join the volunteers who help carry out this monitoring by visiting our online survey form. All that's required is to your site once a month on a nice dry day and spend a bit of time completing our survey form to note if there are many wildflowers, insects, litter etc in the cut and uncut areas. View the . For further information, please contact Donald at DAnderson@pkc.gov.uk
Look out for the 'No Mow' signs which will be displayed at all trial sites as shown below.
What will we be doing within the managed for wildlife areas?
- Leaving grass and other plants to grow and flower
- Mowing pathways so you can enjoy these areas
- Greatly reducing the use of chemicals
- Greatly reducing mowing and strimming
- Working in partnership with communities
- Assessing the success of the trials
More information on the managed for wildlife trials
Long grass and the plants within these areas will flower providing food for bees, butterflies and other insect pollinators. Birds and other wildlife will forage for food amongst the long grass too. These trials include some areas beside roads and areas under trees, many of which have been planted up with bulbs to add spring colour, as well as areas within more open parkland. Most of these trial areas will be allowed to naturalise during the year. In some areas we will be cutting the grass sward and then lifting and removing the cuttings to give space for new seedlings to establish. We will work with volunteers to assess the success of some trial areas through photographing and recording the species we see. Some community groups already work in partnership with us to help manage some areas by raking up and removing the cut grass to help create the right conditions for native seeds to survive and grow the following year, over time these areas become wildflower meadows.
There are additional areas which we do not mow or strim due to the nature of the site which have naturalised over a number of years. Although these areas are not principally 'managed for wildlife' they also help create a varied landscape providing natural habitats which benefit biodiversity. These areas include some steep slopes, wet ground and grass margins along water edges.
What else are we doing to encourage biodiversity?
- Planting more bulbs
- Planting more flowering shrubs and flowers
- Planting more native trees
- Reducing strimming and weedkilling around trees
In many areas we work with volunteers to plant more spring and summer flowering bulbs to be attractive to both people and wildlife.
We are planting more native trees and shrubs which have been grown in our nursery or bought in from local suppliers, which helps reduce our carbon footprint. Community groups often help plant trees in our parklands, countryside sites and other areas including school grounds - applying our 'right tree right place' principle to ensure they will flourish. A few recent examples include:
- Over 100 native trees planted by volunteers at Viewlands Reservoir Park, Perth in November 2019
- Queen's Green Canopy - 46 mixed species trees planted on South Inch, Perth to create Jubilee Avenue in January 2022
- Queen's Green Canopy - planting on many sites across Perth & Kinross and involving many different comminutes late 2021/early 22
In many areas we no longer apply weedkilling or strim around the base of trees to avoid damaging them and the wildlife living around them. The ground around the trees may be allowed to naturalise and/or be planted up with bulbs.
We will continue to grow on cuttings from established shrubs for planting in shrub borders and will increase the use of flowering species to attract pollinators. In some areas, older tired shrub beds are being replanted with more wildlife friendly planting.
Think global - act local
All these projects and initiatives to increase ground cover and plant locally ground or sourced native species contributes to tackling climate change as well as benefiting biodiversity and making our public open spaces more varied and interesting. Many people are also making small changes to their own gardens and lifestyles while some communities are working together to create greener places.
In the last 100 years, the UK has lost 97% of its meadows and other species-rich grassland, and pollinating insects have declined 30% in the last 30 years.
Green spaces with more diverse vegetation such as long grasses and wild flowers have been found to have 50 times more bumblebees and 13 times more hoverflies compared to short mown grass. Longer grass areas also provide homes for small mammals such as hedgehogs and voles and food for birds and bats.