No Mow May – No Rules Minister

No Mow May is a campaign to let the grass and wild flowers grow in a more natural way encouraging more biodiversity than a closely cut green lawn. At Navasola the attempt at a green lawn is thwarted as ever by lack of rain but in the UK the green grass is ebullient. I like that word. What does it really mean? Overcome with joy or full of energy.

At least I have an excuse for not having a closely cut green lawn so why did I have a go at trying to mow a path through the long grass to reach the monster chard. More later.

Our little patch in front of the house at Navasola has delighted us this year in being a wild daisy patch. Meanwhile the rest of the finca has gone wild again with bracken and some wild flowers as I had to give up my strimming of paths and mosaic habitat building because of a shoulder injury. Along the verges of the old walking tracks there are many of the familiar wild flowers but along some of the roadways there is the sign of pesticide use with glyphosate. some of the local villages ban the use of pesticides but the roadways are governed by the regional government and changing the rules is harder. However it is incredible what plants fight back but unfortunately the local insects nearby are killed off.

NO RULES MINISTER? ( a play on the favourite TV programme ‘Yes Minister’ of many years ago when government seemed genteel)

It would seem that our current government show little regard for rules or are certainly rule averse. EU law is ready to be put on the ‘Brexit bonfire’ without in many cases adequate replacement. The government likes to show off its new rules but then fails to ensure enforcement in really important areas. Some with catastrophic impacts. So which is the worst rule aversion failure so far?

No, I am not referring to partygate and disregard for the rules set for us all during the pandemic lockdown.

No, I am not referring to all the longstanding rules against putting sewage into our rivers and water companies not needing to bother about the pollution as there is a loophole and the Office for Environmental Protection fails to act too.

I am referring to the government COP26 flagship of creating more Marine Protection Areas. But not protecting these areas by enforcing the actions needed. The rule of law seems easily broken when out at sea. The Guardian and Greenpeace have information about how much of the sea bed is still being destroyed by the fisheries industries in Marine Protection Areas. We know now that the condition of the sea bed like the condition of the soil on land is crucial to the ecology of the sea and for ensuring restocking of fish and other creatures.

We are on the brink of ecological crisis and with a government that says one thing, creates new rules and then appears to turn a blind eye to the actions needed to ensure the rules are followed.

Below are some photos of the Algarve where the Atlantic meets the European shores. We are all connected by the sea. The dunes and coastline here have been protected but we still have to defend against human activity that can destroy the fragile dunes and habitats. These and Donana are part of the EU habitats directives and should be protected fully.

Back to No Mow May and the humble bumble bee.

So I decided to mow just a pathway through the long grass before the end of May. And was promptly attacked by a bumble bee, I think with red on it. It was small and managed to get inside my glasses and sting my nose. It hurt. I should have kept to the rule I had decided upon! Husband was more to the point. I thought you were the friend of bees. The bumblebee probably had a hive under the ground in what had been undisturbed land for the last few months. And I disturbed its hive and so the normally non aggressive bumble bee attacked me. I did read that bumblebees do not have barbs like bees so can live after a sting. And so did I after finding some apple cider vinegar in the cupboard and a dose of anti histamine.

It is worthwhile in the long run keeping to our own rules, setting the bar high and to do what we can to allow the natural world to recover from our human onslaught.