A PARK area has become more attractive after the grass was left uncut to encourage flowers and wildlife.

Researchers from The University of Sussex Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LASI) monitored an un-mown section of the Saltdean Oval park for a year.

They discovered a three-fold increase in the density of flowers and up to five times higher numbers of flower-visiting insects such as bees, moths and butterflies. A survey showed more than a quarter of visitors to the park said their enjoyment of the park had increased since the sections of grass were uncut and 64% stated their enjoyment was unaffected.

Pathways have been cut into the grass to allow for easier access.

Lead researcher Mihail Garbuzov said: “These results present an encouraging example of a potential win-win situation in urban land management changes, where the interests of humans and wildlife are aligned.”

Park users told The Argus it now offered more enjoyment for their children and animals.

Professor Francis Ratnieks, the head of LASI, said: “We have shown that the new grass management scheme started by the parks department of Brighton and Hove City Council really works.

“The longer grass really does result in more flowers, bees and butterflies, and the public response is very positive.”

The study aimed to illustrate how urban areas can support the increase of pollinating insects.

A council spokesman said: “We are involved in the research that has been conducted at Saltdean Oval for the South Downs Way Ahead Nature Improvement Area initiative.

“Councillors will be visiting the university in the near future to meet the research team to find out more first hand.

“It’s too early to say how this research may affect future council policies on grassland management.”