The Wild Initiative

Regular mowing is destroying our environment.

Mowing kills the life in the soils of grassy slopes. Once destroyed, soils become dirt. When rain comes, it washes the loose soil to end up eventually in the sea which silts up our harbours and waterways. And it’s not good for marine animals and fish.

The sign installed in October 2021 at Grey Lynn Park

Mowing destroys insect, butterfly and moth habitat. Mowing is causing a crisis for Auckland’s biodiversity. Some are needed by plants to fruit and flower. They are also needed by our birds and animals for food. The plants growing here are good habitat plants, many are medicinal, they are Mother Nature’s way of bringing a balanced habitat to our insects, butterflies and moths.

Growing these naturally occurring plants helps Mother Nature to nurture the insects and feed the birds.

When you remove the plants covering the earth, or mow, you dry out the soils and kill the living soil bacteria and fungi that make plants grow.

The Wild Initiative is working with Council to manage a small area in Grey Lynn Park, Auckland back to a healthy ecosystem. Not mowing and allowing this small area to become wild we are hoping to regenerate the soils which will enable it to become a healthy ecosystem again, restoring the habitat for insects, bees, butterflies, moths and skinks which will encourage fantails to visit. The benefits to our environment are limitless.

We can help you set up ‘no mow’ in your ‘hood! Contact us for advice and templates. Use this email address or the form at the bottom of the page..

The first, test plot, to be used for studies, is at the south-west and south-east-facing slopes visible from Williamson Avenue:

Notice in the ground explaining The Wild Initiative. This area is well suited for natives to regenerate: there are ti kōuka, karamu already, and the shade discourages kikuyu grass. Improved ground cover will increase stormwater control and improve water retention during dry periods.
A bare slope ripe for regeneration with native plants. This will reduces need for mowing, will slow down the top-soil loss causing siltage, and prevent erosion and slippages. Plant cover also provides bird and insect habitat as well as help control rainwater.
Which would you rather have: This?
Or this?

One — same as in the top photo — is full of life, visited by Red Admiral butterflies, loud with songs of crickets, and provides berries and several herbs. One gets passers-by who tell us ‘On the way back from work, I often stop and look. It relaxes me.’ One neighbour collects rosemary for her roasts. Another cuts nettle for tea.

Which would you rather have outside your home?

We can help you set up ‘no mow’ in your ‘hood! Contact us for advice and templates. Use this email address or the form at the bottom of the page.

For a list of plants suitable for pollinators such as bees, hover-flies, bumble-bees etc. see Pro-pollination Patches.

Wendy Gray and Bruce Somerville received a Good Citizen’s Award from Waitematā Local Board for their work!

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