People will be advised how best to undertake grass cutting to avoid a “post-no mow May massacre” of small animals in Gloucestershire.

Gardeners were encouraged during May to let their lawns grow wild as part of a campaign to promote biodiversity.

Leaving the grass uncut creates a habitat that benefits bees and other insects, according to environmental campaigners.

However, civic chiefs in the Forest of Dean fear frogs, slow worms, mice and hedgehogs could be at risk of being killed as residents mow their lawns in June.

As such, Forest of Dean District Council will advise residents how best to mow their lawn to avoid inadvertently killing animals.

Councillor Alan Preest (C, Lydney East) raised the issue at last night’s full council meeting in Coleford.

He said: “With June here and the deafening sounds of mowers and strimmers imminent, through our website could we advise our residents that many species will have taken advantage and set up home in the undergrowth.

“There’s a risk to frogs, slow worms, mice and hedgehogs. Could residents be reminded before the cut begins to either try to disturb the grass a little, or commence the cut from the centre rather than the edge.

“Then the creatures will have a fighting chance of escaping a potential post no mow May mower massacre can hopefully be prevented.”

Deputy leader Andy Moore (G, Newnham) thanked Cllr Preest for the question. He said the council will take on board his advice.

“It will go in the guidance,” he said.

The no mow May campaign was started by conservation charity Plantlife in 2019 to encourage gardeners to let wildflowers grow. The UK has reportedly lost 97 per cent of its wildflower meadows since the 1930s. Wildflower meadows are a vital source of food for pollinators such as butterflies and bees.