Leaving them Bee
Reduced mowing, phasing out chemicals and improved planting is all part of local authorities’ biodiversity action plans to promote pollinators across the city.
Across Dublin this summer areas are aflush with longer grasses, dandelions, daisies, clover, and beds of tall grape hyacinths. You would be forgiven for thinking that these areas are being overlooked under the current circumstances. However, this is part of county-wide biodiversity action plan initiatives by the four local authorities - Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Dun Laoghaire and Rathdown County Council, and South Dublin County Council - to improve areas for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.
The councils have initiated management regimes to allow areas to ‘wild’ in parks, open spaces, roadside verges and graveyards. Mowing regimes have been adjusted to allow grass and wildflowers normally considered weeds to grow, to provide food and habitat for insects. The use of the chemical glyphosate has either been eliminated or significantly reduced and replaced with traditional forms of weed control, such as electric strimming, heavy mulching and using organic plant-based products. Planting schemes across the county have also been adjusted to pollinatorfriendly schemes to provide a range of food throughout the year, including mass bulb planting for spring, wildflower areas for summer, and perennials throughout the year. As part of the journey away from a scorched earth policy of eliminating every ‘weed’, the councils realise the support of Dublin residents is vital. While aesthetically ‘weeds’ will be more evident, it is hoped that the importance of these wildflowers as an essential food source for bees and other insects, and as part of a wider ecosystem, will be realised.