British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

Open Grassland Areas

Open Grassland Areas

Open grassland areas don’t have to be close-mown and devoid of any wildlife. With a bit of thought they can be brought to life by managing them to include rough ‘wild’ areas, beautiful and fragrant wildflower meadows and clumps of shrubs and trees. This approach can bring new colour and interest to unexpected corners – along road verges, for instance, or alongside the fairways of golf courses. When you do introduce wilder un-mown areas to your park remember to let people know what you are doing using simple signs. In many cases this is all it takes to stop people complaining that the park is looking ‘untidy’.

Creating a wildflower meadow does require careful planning and, often, some experimentation, but it could actually reduce your workload as, once it’s established, it can take less mowing than ‘normal’ grassland. Establishing a wildflower meadow involves reducing the fertility of the soil to the right level (by removing cuttings or even stripping back top soil). You can then either wait to see what comes up or choose an appropriate mixture of local native species; you’ll then have to watch it carefully in the first year or two to make sure the wildflowers aren’t smothered. Once it’s established your meadow will need to be managed with a light touch – e.g. infrequent cutting after wildflowers have seeded, with cuttings removed to keep soil fertility down.

More information:

  • Click here for an indepth article on encouraging wildflowers and creating a wildflower meadow on your park complete with loads of examples of what parks are doing
  • For more information on local flora and a list of reputable wildflower seed suppliers see www.floralocale.org.
  • Click here for an in depth article on boosting biodiversity on your park, complete with examples of what parks are doing