Gardeners are being asked to count the flowers in their lawns to help draw up a picture of how they can provide important food for pollinators.
While many gardeners prize a well-maintained lawn, wildlife charity Plantlife is urging people to leave their mowers in the shed and count wildflowers instead.
Plantlife is asking people to take part in a “citizen science” project, entitled Every Flower Counts, to count the daisies, dandelions and other blooms in their lawn to help experts work out how important they are for nature.
Wildflower-studded lawns are an increasingly important source of nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Nearly 7.5 million acres of meadows and pastures rich in wildflowers have been lost since the 1930s, removing a vital source of food for UK insects, many of which are now in decline.
This is a major issue, as one acre of wildflower meadow on a single day in summer can contain three million flowers, producing 1kg of nectar – enough to support nearly 96,000 honeybees per day, according to Plantlife.
With 15 million gardens in Britain, lawns have the potential to become major sources of nectar.
This is what Every Flower Counts aims to do: work out how many flowers are on our lawns, how much nectar they’re producing and how many bees they can support through the calculation of the first ever National Nectar Score.
Every Flower Counts will then allow Plantlife to monitor trends over time, including how lawns can be managed differently, how climate change impacts flowering and nectar production, and what are the most abundant flowers and what can be done to encourage them.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com