Clumsy community gardeners mow the wrong grass and accidentally destroy an award-winning lawn

The wildflower meadow at Butts Community Garden in East Hampshire has been recognized by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust – now residents say mowing it leaves only clumps of weeds

A WILDFLOWER meadow in Alton, which won an award last year, was accidentally mowed by contractors from East Hampshire District Council last Friday (May 13).
The beautiful wildflower meadow in Alton that won awards last year

Bumbling community gardeners accidentally mowed the wrong garden and destroyed an award-winning lawn.

Leaving only brambles and weeds untouched, gardeners ruined the wildflower meadow at Butts Community Garden, an acclaimed community space in Alton, East Hampshire.

And ironically, it took place on Friday May 13th during No Mow May, an initiative aimed at leaving some green spaces untouched to encourage wildflowers and pollinators.

Protective posts and a sign reading “Wildflower Meadow” were also ignored.

The wildflower meadow was planted last year by father-of-three Gareth Hurd, a conservationist who lives next door to the site.

Everything that is left of the former common room

It was part of an initiative by Councilwoman Ginny Boxall and the Alton Climate Action Network nature group.

The meadow previously won the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s Pollin 8 award in 2021.

When Hurd, 36, returned from work, he was shocked to see the destruction the gardeners had wreaked on a place teeming with beauty and nature.

He was very disappointed and said the garden had fallen behind by about five years.

That’s what the father of three said The sun : “The space is designed to show what you can do to be more eco-friendly in your garden.

“But the side that is good for the environment has been flattened. I thought lots of wooden poles would have given them a clue.”

And one of his neighbors was just as amazed and distressed by the destruction of the meadow.

Rick Luke, 52, described what was left as a “complete eyesore” and described the “tuft of weeds” as the only thing left there.

Cllr Boxall told the local newspaper Alton Herald : “Imagine our sadness and horror when we realize that our flagship lawn has just been mistakenly mowed.

“All our hard work has now been shelved and our meadow will look very bare of wildflowers this year.

“In autumn we have to sow the yellow rattles again and hope that our meadow will recover – so much unnecessary extra work for our volunteers.”

East Hampshire County Council has been asked for an opinion.

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