Natural Grass Control Method Trialled at Denbighshire Wildflower Meadow

A natural technique is being trialled to help drive forward the benefits of an important bio-diversity project.

Denbighshire’s biodiversity team behind the Wildflower Meadow project has launched a pilot scheme to control the length of grass on site and improve the grounds for flowers to flourish

As part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to enhancing biodiversity across the county, nearly 60 sites, including highway verges, footpath edges, cycleways and amenity grasslands, are being managed to create wildflower meadows. These sites, along with the 11 roadside nature reserves, equate to about 30 football pitches worth of Denbighshire grassland managed as native wildflower meadows.

As well as protecting wildflowers, the meadows are also supporting the welfare of native insects to the Denbighshire area.

And now a Denbigh site has become the base for a novel and self-sustaining natural way of keeping the length of the grass on the meadows shorter while they are in season.

Part of the meadow in Lower Denbigh has been scarified and Yellow Rattle seeds, harvested from another meadow in the town, have been sown.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “Yellow Rattle is a parasitic plant which reduces the growth of grasses. It feeds of the roots of grass, lowering its dominance at the site, allowing more native wildflowers to take hold.

“We will monitor the site over the next season to see how the Yellow Rattle takes hold and if this natural and self- sustainable method is successful we will look to introduce to other sites across Denbighshire to support our drive to increase biodiversity.”

All wildflower sites are managed in line with Plantlife’s Managing Grassland Road Verges guidelines which sees the grass cutting at these sites prohibited between March and August each year, giving wildflowers enough time to grow, flower, and set seed.

The site is then cut after August and cuttings collected to reduce soil fertility and provide the wildflowers with the best conditions possible.

This project has been funded by Welsh Government, through the Local Nature Partnerships Cymru ENRaW project.

To find out more about the wildflower meadows across Denbighshire visit the link below