The Mayor of Dorchester, Peter Mann, has announced his support for growing the first ‘grass free lawn’ in Dorchester’s Borough Gardens as the subject of the 2014/15 Mayoral Appeal.
In a project supported by Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT), Dorchester Town Council, The Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Gardens Group, both wildlife and people are set to benefit from a lawn grown from a variety of different flowering plants, rather than grass. Members of the local community are being invited to collect their free seeds, compost and trays to grow plants at home, which will be included in the grass free lawn at Dorchester Borough Gardens next year.
DWT’s Community Conservation Officer, Joy Wallis said: “A flower lawn such as the one we are aiming to create has been proved to be 50 times more beneficial to bees and butterflies than the standard lawn. This is something to be encouraged, as all our pollinators are struggling to survive at the moment. Watching happy bees and butterflies is also beneficial to our well-being too.”
The Mayor of Dorchester, Peter Mann, said: “I am delighted to give my support to this exciting project. Not only will it will add further interest and colour to our beautiful Borough Gardens in Dorchester, but also attract large numbers of bees and butterflies, recently in sad decline. This is probably the first such project in any town in Britain and I very much hope that it will involve large numbers of all ages from our local community. The results will be for us and future generations to appreciate and enjoy.”
Those who contribute to the grass free lawn by growing plants at home will be invited to attend the ‘grand planting day’ in Dorchester Borough Gardens on Easter Monday, 6 April 2015. Free seed trays, peat free compost and seeds will be available for collection from Poundbury Gardens Centre in Dorchester, (DT1 3RT) on 12 and 20 September 2014 from 9am to 6pm.
Joy Wallis added: “Anyone with some space for a few seed trays in your greenhouse, conservatory or even on your windowsill can take part. You don’t need to be an expert. The benefits of a grass free lawn are not just for wildlife, but they also look stunning, there will be something in flower all year round and they need very little cutting and weeding.”