A simple change in mowing has provided a fantastic success in a pollination project in Ballymena, Co Antrim.
More than 60 rare orchids have been found in a wildflower meadow created by a County Antrim school
The Irish Lady’s Tresses were found at Cambridge House Grammar School in Ballymena. There are only 2,000 of the flowers to be found in Europe.
Northern Ireland is home to most of them.
The school set aside an area near its playing fields two years ago as part of a project to encourage pollinators.
This shows how simply a change in the management of grasslands can impact positively on our biodiversity. Changing amenity grass “green deserts” to flower-rich swards. Many clubs, societies, businesses and schools have areas of close-cut amenity grassland that if managed differently could produce beautiful grasslands full of wildflowers to delight both our senses and those of the insect pollinators. Simply doing a cut in early spring and then not cutting again until the end of summer and removing those cuttings will have a huge impact on the wildlife value of your grass areas. Edges can still be kept neat and mown and paths can be cut to meander through an area giving access to the green space.
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