Editor’s Diary: To Mow Or Not To Mow?


Apologies to Shakespeare for the awful title of this week’s Editor’s Diary! But “to mow or not to mow” is definitely the question in my local community right now.

Earlier this year, the council announced a new grass-cutting policy for our park.

In common with many other local authorities across the UK, they are trying to cut their carbon footprint. And they also aim to create more wildlife-friendly habitats.

In the case of our park, that means leaving around 5% of the grassland unmown to allow grasses and wildflowers to flourish.

As you can see from my photo, nature has responded with enthusiasm! Last weekend I was delighted to see a profusion of harebells.

The harebell is the “true” bluebell of Scotland – as in the drawings on those old Bluebell Matchboxes.

The delicate blue flowers are also known as witches’ thimbles and fairy bells. They prefer to grow in undisturbed — i.e. unmown — ground.

Which means this is probably the first year they’ve bloomed in such numbers in our park.

So far, so good. Or is it?

You see, for every person like me who smiles at the sight of bees and butterflies buzzing over these uncut areas, there’s another who’s fuming at what they see as a mess.

Some people love neat and tidy, well-mown grass. And they’re raging about the modest rewilding that’s going on in our park!

We’re all entitled to our opinions, of course. And the world would be a dull place if we all agreed on everything.

But I do think we all need to embrace a little more wildness in nature if we’re to start to reverse some  of the damage humans have done to our planet.

For more from Angela’s Editor’s Diary, click the tag below.

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Angela Gilchrist

Angela is Former Editor-in-Chief of “The People’s Friend” magazine. Her passions include cats, Highland ponies, good books, vegetarian food and long walks in the Scottish countryside. Her favourite place to get away from it all is the magical Isle of Skye.