Grass cutting and grass verges

Nature-friendly zones

We're changing the way we maintain areas of parks, open spaces, and designated verges to make these into nature-friendly zones.

Nature-friendly zones are areas where closely cut grass will be replaced with meadow grassland, including wildflowers packed with pollen and nectar for bees and insects. 

Which areas are being improved with nature-friendly zones?

You’ll be able to see which zones have been designated as a nature-friendly zone by a Bee cut-out sign. Once sites have been agreed upon with councillors, we’ll update this page.

An image showing the bee sign which shows a nature friendly zone.

This Bee cut-out sign is used to identify designated nature-friendly zones.

How long will it take to see flowers in nature-friendly zones?

Designated sites will take a number of years to establish. First, we start a cut and collect mowing routine to remove grass cuttings. This reduces soil fertility as rich fertile soil is bad for wildflowers as it cannot compete with fast-growing grass. We then cut the grass hard and sow new Yellow Rattle wildflower seed. Once established, Yellow Rattle will allow us to plant and grow other wildflowers without the threat of grasses or weeds taking over. 

Why are we creating nature-friendly zones?

We're creating nature-friendly zones because:

  • According to the Royal Horticulture Society, 97% of wildflower meadows in the UK have been lost since 1945. One of the biggest problems for pollinators is a lack of flowering plants, especially those packed with pollen and nectar. It's important we create new areas for flowers to grow.
  • Bees and butterflies benefit our climate by maintaining healthy soil, recycling nutrients, pollinating flowers and crops, and controlling pests.
  • The European Commission says 10% of pollinating insects are on the verge of extinction, and a third of bee and butterfly species are declining. We hope these zones will increase the number of insects and wildlife across the borough for all our residents and visitors to enjoy.