We are very lucky at Wellington to have the space to leave some areas less formally managed and more attractive to wildlife. There are wildflower areas in the College Garden and by the GWA, and there are also areas of the College that are left unmown to allow nature to flourish, such as around the Mansergh Astro pitches and Mordaunt Drive. These areas flourish with numerous grass, wildflower and invertebrate species.
Managing these wild areas is more complex than you might think. Some are left to grow completely naturally without any additional planting, some are sown with suitable wildflower seed mixes and others are completely stripped back and replanted with special wildflower ‘turf’. Then comes the question of cutting: the amount of time you leave for growth, the time of year at which you cut, the height at which you cut and the length of time you leave the cuttings before collecting them all have an effect. The Gardens and Countryside team vary all these factors in different areas to encourage greater biodiversity. Often areas are cut by hand and the cuttings laid or stacked in a particular way, so it can actually be much more time-consuming than just whizzing through on a ride-on mower!