Situated just outside Ramsey, Mountain View Innovation Centre is a multi-use, business, co-working and events site which not only boasts an UNESCO Biosphere IOM Environment Award but also a serious set of green credentials. With a large footfall of people not only working at Mountain View but also visiting Babbage’s Bistro or one of the many businesses on site David Dorricott, AFD Group MD explains more about why they are embracing this approach and furthermore encouraging others to do the same - “Since we bought the site over 5 years ago, we have been steadily investing and developing the facilities and site as a whole but we have always placed a huge emphasis on the environmental impact of everything we do. When we saw the studies about the ecological impacts of adopting lower-intensity lawn management, it was a no brainer for us to adopt this ‘rewilding’ approach across much of our site.
We have always left some areas to grow freely to provide habitats for animals like field mice and also to provide food for our resident pollinators but with studies now showing that more than half of British species are in decline and 15% are threatened by extinction, although we will leave some meandering paths for access, we wanted to take this seriously and approximately 95% of the green spaces on site will be on our reduced mowing programme. We are hoping that the many visitors to the site, will see what we are doing and give it a go themselves!”
AFD Group Head Gardener Ben Richards gives some tips on what you can do to support this initiative :
“The great thing is that everyone with a green space or garden can get involved by doing nothing more than putting your mower away – at least for some of the space. By leaving patches of long grass you are creating a habitat which encourages different plant life to grow, helping insects to thrive and providing shelter and feeding opportunities for birds and small mammals. You could also plant some wildflowers -speak to your garden centre who will recommend the best mix for your soil type. If you don’t have a garden, you can also plant wildflowers in pots and window boxes which not only do the job but also look great!”.
For those wishing to join the initiative, you can find out more information from https://www.plantlife.org.uk/ or share pictures on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #saynomow or like the team at Mountain View, you might also like to rewild all Summer and try #letitbloomjune and #kneehighjuly.