Dorchester hosts UK's first community grass free lawn
Wednesday 25th March 2015
(Above) Grass Free Lawn © Joy Wallis
In a project led by Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) and supported by the Mayor of Dorchester, Dorset’s county town will receive the first ever community grass free lawn to be planted in the UK on 6th April (Easter Monday), in Dorchester’s Borough Gardens.
Since September 2014, DWT has distributed 1,500 plant trays to 78 individuals and families, 6 schools, including Kingston Maurwood, and 5 community groups, including Weldmar, Cowden Care Farm and Whitfield Future Roots centre. The result will be a patchwork of flowering plants, rather than grass, which aims to create a haven for bees and butterflies to benefit from.
This is the first community grass free lawn in the UK
DWT’s Community Conservation Officer, Joy Wallis, is leading on this project. She said, “We are really grateful to the local community, who have really pulled together to help create the first grass free lawn in Dorchester, and the first community grass free lawn in the UK. Research suggests that this type of lawn is fantastic for pollinating insects and all sorts of other wildlife. It needs no chemical additives, produces many more flowers than a grass lawn and there will be something in flower all year round. There’s also a bonus for us, as it’s nicer to look at and requires far less maintenance than a traditional turf lawn. We hope that people will visit the gardens and feel inspired to try it themselves at home!”
In September 2014 The Mayor of Dorchester, Peter Mann, announced this grass free lawn project to be the subject of the 2014/15 Mayoral Appeal. He said, “This exciting and innovative project has involved a wide range of community groups and individuals in planting up seed trays and now helping to plant the Grass Free Lawn. I very much look forward to seeing colourful flowers nearly all the year round and increasing numbers of bees and butterflies and other pollinating insects.”
Grand planting on Monday 6th April from 10am - 3pm
To see the planting of the grass free lawn, volunteers will be bringing their trays and planting them in a patchwork pattern in Borough Gardens in Dorchester, from 10am 3pm on Monday 6th April. Starter kits will also be available, and all proceeds from this will go towards the Borough Gardens.
This project is supported by Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT), Dorchester Town Council, The Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Gardens Group. For more information about wildlife gardening, visit DWT's wildlife gardening pages.
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 36,000 projects with £6bn across the UK. For more information, please contact Katie Owen, HLF press office, on tel: 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.
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