Mowing the lawn for species conservation

Summer is the time of insects, heat-loving reptiles and flowering meadows. The issue of mowing is more important than you might think: the right mowing technique for flower strips and species-rich grassland is real nature conservation work. Various flower-rich meadows, which provide a valuable habitat for many animal and plant species, must be mown annually and cleared of mown material. Without this maintenance measure, which imitates the historical extensive use of mown meadows, too many nutrients accumulate in the soil. Only a few vigorous plants benefit from this, herb diversity decreases and the meadow quickly becomes overgrown with bushes and trees.

So-called early compensation measures often consist of the creation of new species-rich open habitats when these are lost due to a construction project. The replacement habitat should be optimally designed and maintained for the target species so that wild bees, butterflies and sand lizards can live there permanently. Gentle mowing means not only choosing the right time of the year, but also the right temperature: it should be warm and dry so that the warm-blooded animals have the opportunity to hide from the mower. In addition, a bar mower should be used and the cutting height should not be less than 10 - 15 cm. Last but not least, the technique of mosaic or strip mowing is recommended, as it does not cut everything at once. This is even possible in the home garden.

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