Hounslow’s Natural Summer

Frequently Asked Questions


Why isn’t the Council cutting the grass back? 

We are keen to encourage biodiversity across dedicated open spaces, parks and housing estates. By allowing grass and wildflowers to grow freely, we provide valuable habitats and food sources for various insects, birds, and other wildlife. It’s a small action that can have a significant impact on our local environment. 

National initiatives like Plantlife’s No Mow May encourages households, organisations, and local authorities alike to refrain from mowing their lawns during the month of May and beyond. 


The long grass is making it difficult to get to my car. What is the Council doing about it? 

We understand and appreciate that the long grass can make it difficult for some of our residents to access their cars or properties. As a result we have relooked at the open spaces that will participate in the campaign to ensure that residents aren’t adversely affected. 


Why is the Council participating in the Natural Summer campaign? 

Over the last few years, we have participated in the national No Mow May campaign but our borough’s requirements to encourage biodiversity and to allow wildlife to flourish has grown since its inception. Bug hotels are now a regular feature in many of our parks and housing estates, which helps support the natural wildlife. We are also increasing the number of dedicated wildflower locations in our borough over the next 12 months. Across the borough, wildflowers will start being resown in the autumn of 2024 and ready to bloom in the spring and summer of 2025.     


How long will selected areas of grass remain uncut? 

From 1 May 2024, grass will be left to grow across selected locations in the borough. These locations will have their next cut on 1, October 2024. Click here to view participating locations

Please note that only some portions of the park or open space will be left to grow, with the remaining parts attended to as normal. 


What can I do to contribute to Hounslow’s healthy environment? 

Whether you have a garden, or a balcony, there’s several things you can do to make your outdoor area more environmentally friendly. 

Check out the Woodland Trust’s Top 10 Gardening Tips for advice on how to support Hounslow’s wildlife to grow and thrive. 


I’ve heard about bug hotels and wildflower patches, but what are they? 

You will notice designated wildflower patches and areas known as ‘bug hotels’ across the borough this summer. These have been created to further encourage greater biodiversity, which simply means that action is taken to promote a greater selection and variation of species and habitats in our ecosystem. 

A wildflower patch creates a whole host of environmental benefits: 

  • providing beauty and colour 

  • locks carbon away below the ground and reduces greenhouse gases giving animals and insects food throughout the year 

  • protect against flooding 

  • help fight disease as modern wildflowers contribute to modern medicine 

While bug hotels are not only eye-catching but can: 

  • attract pollinators and insects which can then control pests 

  • provide sheltered habitats and sanctuary for wildlife 

  • protection for minibeasts who are laying eggs 


What do I do if I have seasonal allergies? 

Seasonal allergies can be caused by various tree and grass pollens. If you suffer from an allergy like hay fever, we recommend avoiding sitting in long grass areas or standing around them for too long. The areas of long grass have been chosen and designed to avoid main pathways and park facilities.  


Won’t the long grass look unkept? 

All long grass areas in parks will be clearly defined with a surrounding border of cut grass in our parks. This approach will help to frame the long grass as purposeful, distinct areas for wildlife and people to enjoy.   


Will the long grass cause a fire hazard? 

Fire is a risk in all open spaces, and we ask all parks users to be responsible. Long grass areas are separated by firebreaks. If you see a fire, please report it to the fire brigade immediately by dialling 999.   


How do I identify any bees or other pollinators that visit the Natural Summer areas? 

The Bumblebee and Butterfly Conservation Trusts have produced identification guides for the many different species of pollinators in the UK. You can find the Bumblebee guide here, and you can also find the Butterfly Conservation Trust guide here.   


Is long grass a problem for dogs?  

Some long grass stems have small, pointy seeds, which can be a problem for dogs because they can easily get caught in their fur. We encourage responsible dog owners to keep dogs on leads and avoid long grass areas where possible. If you think your dog has a grass seed injury, contact your vet for advice. 


Can ticks be found in the long grass? 

Ticks are very small insects that can be found in long grass. Lyme disease is a rare bacterial infection that can be spread to humans and other animals by infected ticks. Not all ticks carry the bacteria, however, it is still advisable to take precautions, and stick to clearly defined paths, and consider wearing clothing that covers your skin. For more information, please see the NHS guidance here

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