HHoGent’s “FlowerPower De Tuin” citizen science project, in collaboration with Mijn Tuinlab and Knack, is studying the best way to turn part of your lawn into a beautiful flower meadow.
Participants receive a soil test on their lawn. They then create 3 test plots of 2.25 m2 each, which they develop into a flowery meadow for 2 years, mowing twice a year. Several times a year, they count the flowers, bees, butterflies and other insects in the test plots.
Added value of grasslands
In any case, the meadows have a great biodiversity value. But the natural value of flowering meadows is no longer known because we hardly see it any more, specifies Stéphanie Schelfhout: “The flowering meadows typical of the past have disappeared, in particular under the pressure of the intensification of agriculture. At present, only 3% of the Flemish area is made up of biologically valuable meadows, a fraction of a century ago. If all the gardens together do a little bit, we can do that 3% maybe 4%. It may not seem like much, but it is an important step forward for our pollinators, such as bees, bumblebees and butterflies. ”
Mow can not
The FlowerPower research theme is closely linked to Knack’s “Maai Niet Mei” campaign. A collaboration was therefore obvious, explains his research colleague Jorunn Dieleman: “The basic principle of Maai Mei Niet is that everyone with a garden can do something for nature. In Flanders, almost 10% of the area is made up of gardens. So, managing lawns – or parts of them – differently could give biodiversity a huge boost and help avoid the climate crisis. Our added value for the Maai Mei Niet campaign is that we provide it with a more scientific basis with the data that we collect and analyze through our research.
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