In October 2019, the Parish Council commissioned Worcestershire Wildlife Trust (WWT) to carry out a biodiversity survey. The report was funded by the Natural Networks Programme, a Worcestershire-wide scheme offering grants and advice to projects which aim to create or restore wildlife-rich habitats.
Based on the WWT's subsequent report, the Habitats scheme was set up to restore flowering grassland through a ‘less and later’ mowing regime, and the planting of other wildlife-friendly habitats, such as new hedges and trees, on verges and some public community spaces.
The survey revealed that there was already a good range of wildflowers in some places, which would need no additional planting if left alone to grow, flower and set seed. Therefore, in 2020 we created a number of trial areas in specific locations which weren't mown between April and the end of August, and carried out regular biodiversity surveys to see what was growing where.
Based on this we determined which sites had good existing diversity and which needed additional planting to help increase both the quantity and type of species.
Since then we have roped off the sites each year and re-surveyed. After five years we will be able to assess how successful the 'Less and Later' approach to cutting has been in increasing biodiversity.