Skip to content

Let It Bee FAQs

Last year we supported the national ‘No Mow May’ campaign from conservation charity, Plantlife. Their campaign aims to encourage people to mow less during May to help enhance biodiversity.

When lawns and other grassy areas are kept short through very regular mowing, wild plants don’t get the chance to grow, flower and seed.

This year we have extended this trial further with our Let It Bee project which will include a total of nine sites across the district.

These will be carefully managed and monitored with the aim of increasing wildlife, as well allowing the existing plants to thrive by not being cut so often. This should make the plants and soil better able to withstand periods of extreme weather. To find out more please see our Grass cutting and Let It Bee page.

Will you be doing any mowing this year?

We will continue to manage most of our land as we have done in previous years. However, we have chosen a number of specific areas for the Let It Bee Project to enhance biodiversity on our land. Other areas will be managed to ensure leisure areas for residents to continue activities such as walking, picnicking, sport and children’s play.

What are the reasons some areas have been chosen over others?

The sites which have been chosen as part of the project are large enough to allow plants and insects and encourage birds and other wildlife to flourish but are also in areas where we can still leave enough space for amenities as outlined above.

What about roadside verges?

The roadside verges are the responsibility of Oxfordshire County Council. Where we do cut in urban areas, our grounds maintenance staff will be vigilant about keeping sightlines clear of very long grass, where necessary, to ensure the safety of road users and pedestrians.

Why now?

Over the years we have had several areas that we have managed as wildflower meadows and some other areas which have been managed by partner conservation groups. Last year the council took part in the national campaign, No Mow May, and extended it beyond just the month of May to the rest of the growing season with the aim of increasing biodiversity in those areas. We hope to work with the community to monitor these sites to see what grows and how we can further manage our land for the benefit of people and nature.

How can you get involved?

If you are an individual with a lawn area or a community group which manages grassland then you can get involved with No Mow May or our longer, Let It Bee project. You can get advice about how to manage your grass from Plantlife or RHS and if you have any pix we would love to share them so please feel free to send them to with the subject line Let It Bee.

What does ‘letting it grow’ do?

We try to leave everything growing as it encourages insects including crickets, butterflies, bees and moths and improves soil fertility, and in turn this encourages birds and other wildlife that feed on the insects. If left long enough wildflowers can grow and they help support pollinators that are essential for the environment, as well as offering a refuge for wildlife in summer months. Letting the grass grow allows the roots to grow and strengthen making the ground less susceptible (but not unaffected) to drought in the summer.

There could be hazards such as litter and dog poo hidden in the long grass?

We cut paths which offer people an alternative to walking through the long grass which can then be left for wildlife.

Some people might think it looks unsightly and unmanaged 

Depending on the weather, areas will look different during late spring or early summer, when growth rate is naturally higher. Most areas will be cut once per year at the end of the season in about September/ October. This is more natural than mown grass, it’s great for insects, and in time, wildflowers will blossom for all to enjoy

What happens if there is another drought?

By not cutting the grass so often in these areas we allow the existing plants to thrive. This should make the plants and the soil better able to withstand periods of extreme weather.

In our climate, it is fairly rare for grass to become so dry that it is a fire risk but it is not unknown, as we experienced in some parts of the country in 2022. However, these meadow areas will be located away from vulnerable features, such as housing, and other buildings, and ultimately if there is a very dry spell, it will be possible to instruct the team to manage the areas as necessary.

How much money is the council saving by not cutting as frequently

At the moment, Let it Bee is a trial and we still have the same costs for maintaining all our parks and open spaces.  If the trial is successful, we plan to extend the number of areas we cut less frequently and will be able to make long term changes to our grounds maintenance service to reduce our costs.

Contact us - Parks

01235 422404
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)