Every Flower Counts – Get Involved to Support Vital Plant Pollination

24th May 2021

This month, people are being urged to leave the mower in the shed and the lawn to nature as part of Plantlife’s ‘No Mow May’. Plantlife is the British conservation charity that works to save threatened wild flowers, plants and fungi, both nationally and internationally, and their annual No Mow May campaign is a way of highlighting the importance of garden wildlife and plant species, and their vital role in pollination.

Every Flower CountsCulminating in the Bank Holiday Weekend at the end of the month, those that have taken part in #NoMowMay and those that haven’t, are being encouraged to count the flowers on their lawn as part of the Every Flower Counts Survey – a way of recording the levels of wildflowers growing in gardens and, in turn, the nectar that is available for the key species that feed on it.

By counting the flowers on their lawn between 22nd and 31st May, people will receive a Personal Nectar Score, from which Plantlife can calculate a National Nectar Index. This will reveal how lawns across the country are helping to feed pollinating species.

Previous surveys have shown that more than 200 species of wild flower grow on UK lawns, with unmown lawns home to an even greater number – and variety – of plant species. In turn, the studies have shown that almost 100 different pollinators exist on garden lawns, with bees the most common (making up 63%) and hoverflies (15%) and butterflies and moths next (10%).

It is easy to think of our lawns as wildlife deserts, but the Every Flower Counts survey has shown quite the opposite is true and the frequency of mowing directly impacts the number of pollinating species in our gardens. In recent years, both have been in sharp decline, showing the important relationship between plants and pollinators.

Every Flower CountsSince the 1930s, almost 7.5 million acres of meadows and pastures, rich in wildflowers, have been lost, meaning the important role of our garden lawns has increased – and with 15 million gardens in Britain, there is huge potential to provide nectar for pollinating species. One acre of wildflower meadow, on a single summer’s day, can support almost 96,000 honey bees on its 3 million flowers – incredible!

The survey will therefore also reveal the top ten lawn-growing flowers and provide advice on how to increase the number of flowers within garden lawns as a way of counteracting meadow loss across the country.

Every Flower Counts is the first survey of its kind to assess the species found in garden lawns and their vital role in pollination. It will also allow Plantlife to monitor trends over time, learn how the score can be improved, discover the possible impact of climate change and find out what the most frequently seen plant species in British garden lawns are.

To find out more about No Mow May and Every Flower Counts, visit: www.plantlife.org.uk/everyflowercounts.