Meadow areas

Many residents may be aware of high profile national and local campaigns such as the Blue Campaign, No Mow May and the Community Road Verges. These campaigns focus on leaving areas of grass to grow long, therefore encouraging native wildflower meadows to establish, improving biodiversity and attracting bees, butterflies, moths and other pollinators.

Over the past few years, Horsham District Council have been trialling this principle on a small scale in selected parks and open spaces. Instead of cutting the grass regularly, the grass has been left to grow throughout the summer. This is then cut and collected in late August with the arisings (grass clippings) being removed and composted.

By cutting the grass less frequently, the soil becomes less fertile, and this enables the wildflowers to out-compete the grass, grow and set seed.  After a number of years, the wildflowers become well established and look more abundant.

Meadow Areas

The benefits of meadow grass areas

There are many benefits including;

  • Plants and fungi that are native to the UK will begin to re-establish themselves, bringing with them a wonderful variety of invertebrates, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals
  • It is good for the human senses, bringing different colours, scents and wildlife in a space that was previously just a monoculture of grass
  • It helps to improve the biodiversity of the District as a whole
  • It reduces the carbon impact of our work as a council

Trial areas

Below is more information on the sites that have trial areas of meadow grass.

Only selected areas at each of the sites are being used and we will continue to mow pathways and retain short amenity grass for other uses, be that walking, sport, play, picnicking or simply having somewhere to relax.

On the maps below the meadow areas are displayed in blue and the path network displayed in yellow.

Horsham Park, Horsham

This area was chosen as wildflower plants started to become more evident in this part of the park.

Spanning a section of 4000m2, the yellow areas show the paths that are cut in enabling visitors to walk from one end of the park to the other.

This is the third summer the area will remain untouched. This section will be cut again in late August / early September.

Meadow Area in Horsham Park

Billingshurst Bypass Path (North)

The site was chosen as they were good indicators of rich biodiversity indicators such as wasps’ spiders.

The site, managed in conjunction with the Billi Green community Group, is cut and collected once a year in late summer.

Billinghurst bypass path meadow grass area

Tanbridge Park, Horsham

The site at Tanbridge Park was chosen as woodland marginal plants started to take over the area. Local residents requested that this area to be kept untouched for spring.

This area will be cut at the end of May.

Tanbridge Park Meadow Area

Woodlands Walk, Mannings Heath

Woodlands Walk is a good example of a large open space, that has  been left to grow. It is enjoyed by many users - especially dog walkers. The wildflowers are now thriving at this site.

This area will be cut in late August / early September.

Woodlands Walk meadow area

In addition, many areas at our Countryside sites including Southwater Country Park, Warnham Local Nature Reserve and Chesworth Farm have been managed in this way for many years, with visitors and residents enjoying the different habitats they provide.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you make a difference?

Small changes can make a big difference.
For ideas and inspirations of how you can make simple changes in your gardens and open spaces, please visit; 
RHS Lawn and mini-meadow habitats page
No Mow May
Blue Campaign