Natural grass control method extended across Wildflower meadows

An innovative grass control scheme is to be rolled out across wildflower meadows.

Denbighshire County Council’s biodiversity team is expanding across the county a natural technique to tackle the reduction of grass height and assist in improving the ground for wildflowers to flourish.

Currently the Council’s Wildflower Meadows Project includes over 100 sites managed for wildflower meadow (including the 11 roadside nature reserves). These sites are equivalent to nearly 35 football pitches worth of grassland managed as native wildflower meadows.

Part of one of the sites, located at Lower Denbigh, was treated in 2021 and Yellow Rattle seeds harvested from another meadow in the town were sown.

Yellow rattle is a parasitic plant, tapping in to the roots of grasses and other neighbouring plants and stealing their nutrients. This reduces the dominance of grasses within a meadow, allowing more native wildflowers to take hold.

During the 2022 season the biodiversity team inspected the site and found a reduction in grass length and an increase in wildflowers.

The successful trial meant more food for pollinating insects and their predators

Yellow Rattle seeds harvested from the Denbigh and other local sites, will be introduced to meadows to help reduce the dominance of grasses and help increase the number of wildflowers within the sites.

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We are pleased to see that this natural method of controlling meadow grass has been a success in Denbigh. Over the coming weeks as the chosen meadows are cut, we will introduce the Yellow Rattle Seeds to help support the control of the meadow grass and provide a stronger environment for wildflowers to flourish.”