Study

Public approval plus more wildlife: Twin benefits of reduced mowing of amenity grass in a suburban public park in Saltdean, UK

  • Published source details Garbuzov M., Fensome K.A. & Ratnieks F.L.W. (2015) Public approval plus more wildlife: Twin benefits of reduced mowing of amenity grass in a suburban public park in Saltdean, UK. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 8, 107-119.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Alter mowing regimes on greenspaces and road verges

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Alter mowing regimes on greenspaces and road verges

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2013 in a public park in Sussex, UK (Garbuzov et al. 2015) found that unmown areas had higher abundance of butterflies and moths, and higher species richness of butterflies, than mown areas. The total abundance of butterflies (123 individuals) and moths (261 individuals) was higher in unmown strips than in strips mown every two weeks throughout the summer (butterflies: 32 individuals; moths: 23 individuals). In addition, the total abundance of butterflies (271 individuals) and moths (391 individuals), and the species richness of butterflies (8 species), were higher on the unmown half of the park than in the mown half (butterfly abundance: 6 individuals; moth abundance: 2 individuals; butterfly richness: 2 species) (moths not identified to species). From spring 2013, half of a 6-ha park was left unmown, while the other half continued to be mown every two weeks from spring to autumn. In addition, four blocks (20 × 30 m) of four strips (5 × 30 m) each were established in the unmown half of the park. Within each block, one strip was assigned to each of four mowing treatments: regular mowing every two weeks through the summer, regular mowing until 5 July, regular mowing until 2 June, and unmown. From June–September 2013, foraging and resting butterflies and moths were surveyed weekly by walking down the centre of each 30-m strip five times/visit. From July–September 2013, butterflies and moths were surveyed eight times on two 500-m transects, one around the regularly mown and one around the unmown half of the park.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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