Wildflower meadow in Alton is accidentally mown

Friday 20th May 2022 4:00 pm
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The meadow after it was mown last Friday

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A WILDFLOWER meadow in Alton which won an award last year was accidentally mown by East Hampshire District Council contractors last Friday (May 13).

The Butts Community Garden – an initiative of East Hampshire’s climate champion, Cllr Ginny Boxall, and the Alton Climate Action Network’s nature group – won a Bumblebee Conservation Trust ‘Best Community Meadow for Pollinators’ award last year.

Ironically the blunder occurred during the council’s No Mow May, which aims to leave some green spaces unmown to encourage wildflowers and pollinators, and despite protective posts and a sign saying it was a wildflower meadow.

Cllr Boxall, who was regularly involved in the project, said: “Imagine our grief and horror to discover our flagship meadow has just been mown in error. All our hard work has now been put back and this year our meadow will look very bare of wildflowers. We will have to re-sow the yellow rattle in the autumn and hope our meadow will recover – all so much unnecessary extra work for our 
volunteers.”

She urged the council to ensure its contractors were “fully briefed” so the error was not repeated at other verges volunteers were re-wilding in Alton.

Jenny Griffiths of the Alton Climate Action Network, which also asked the council to take more care, said the mistake was “terribly sad”.

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