Creating a more biodiverse Horsham District

Published: 09 Mar 2023

A no-mow meadow

Horsham District Council, working in conjunction with Sussex Wildlife Trust as part of its Wilder Horsham District initiative, is once again embracing a “no mow” principle in parts of selected parks and open spaces to help nature to flourish and improve biodiversity.

Instead of cutting the grass regularly, it is being left to grow throughout the summer. This will then be cut and collected in late August with the grass clippings being removed and composted.

There are many benefits to adopting this principle 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, toads, newts, frogs, 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.

The sites which have all been previously trialled include selected space at Horsham Park, a pocket park at Manor Fields, a semi-woodland yet residential area at Tanbridge Park, open spaces connected to the Riverside Walk and established meadows along the Billingshurst Bypass path.  

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

Commenting on the initiative Horsham District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture Cllr Roger Noel said:

We are really keen to improve biodiversity and boost wildlife on our public land.

The overall aim is to let grass grow and wildflowers bloom to create a nectar feast for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths and beetles.

Over this summer and as we plan for the future, we will be raising the profile of our unmown sites, placing signs to inform the public and additional information on our website.

We will still be regularly mowing all our other areas of open space as usual.

At each of the sites 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.

I would encourage as many of you as possible to do your bit for nature and biodiversity and leave areas of your own grass unmown this year.

Cllr Roger Noel, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture

I would encourage as many of you as possible to do your bit for nature and biodiversity and leave areas of your own grass unmown this year.

If you need any help or advice, or for more information, please get in touch with our Parks and Countryside team by emailing

For more details on the sites currently involved, please visit our Meadow areas webpage.

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