Skip to content

The ‘rewilding’ debate: ‘meadowizing’ 

  • by JW

Making ‘marvellous meadowbed’ out of council-owned land.

And ‘when biologically diverse gardens contain “cues to care”, they become more acceptable to neighbours.’ [Joan Nassauer, professor of landscape architecture]


There is quite a debate as to exactly what we mean by ‘rewilding’ – with a suggestion that we should try using other terminology, such as going back to traditional farming practices’.

In response to a Nub News piece on complaints about the council’s mowing regime, a regular commentator on the VGS social media suggests making ‘marvellous meadowbed’ out of council-owned land – in particular:

While I can understand the need for safe access, I definitely think most, if not all, social housing lawns should be flagged for meadowizing! Just maintain paths for the residents to enjoy them as much as the pollinators…

The notion of ‘meadowizing’ might be an alternative way to look at ‘nature friendly mowing’ – and might put fewer backs up than the notion of ‘rewilding’.

There are lots of places to go online for advice on ‘creating a meadow’ – also with plenty of solid advice for local councils.

Here’s a wonderful piece looking at how to design a ‘meadowscape’ – also on a small scale:

A meadowscape is a wildish garden designed using primarily native plants (though you can mix in a few companionable non-natives) leveraging the power of systems and managed ecologically.

And the idea of ‘meadowizing’ is being used far and wide – with the local Maryland administration praising a local for wanting to know about the park’s magic installation trick for such broad coverage of buttercups.

Finally, here’s some advice, again from the States, about how to win greater acceptance and enthusiasm for such projects – by ‘avoiding bylaw complaints with cues to care’:

Many urban dwellers view “a neat, orderly landscape as a sign of neighborliness, hard work and pride… people tend to perceive landscapes that exhibit biodiversity as messy, weedy and unkempt” because they tend to be mistaken for properties that are not cared for. But when biologically diverse gardens contain “cues to care” they become more acceptable to neighbours. ~Joan Nassauer, professor of landscape architecture

For example:

Signs, paths, rocks, colourful flowers, bird or insect houses, fences, pots, chairs, benches, sculptures, bird baths and focal points are all cues to care that signal your meadowscape is cared for