During the growing season every year our amenity grasslands get mown regularly, and the cut grass gets left where it has been cut. Not only does this look a mess but the cut grass rots down, returning the nutrients to the soil where it grows yet more grass. There are few wildflowers that can cope with regular cutting and smothering.

By changing our mowing regime to one which cuts and removes the cuttings this can make a big difference to allow wildflowers to thrive in our amenity grasslands. Firstly, cut-and-collect mowing reduces soil fertility; by taking the cuttings away, the nutrients are removed and cannot go back into the soil. Removing the cut grass also opens up the surface of the soil in the grass, allowing wildflower seeds to germinate. Wildflower seed can remain dormant in the soil for decades, so this simple change can make a spectacular difference in just one or two seasons.

Female on Common Bird's-foot-trefoil - Tim Melling

So, if we reduce the amount that grass grows in the first place by reducing soil fertility, we have less grass to cut. This should cost us less, so is an added incentive for change.