New policy to keep longer grass verges and boost biodiversity

Leaving grass verges longer is better for biodiversity.

Leaving grass verges longer is better for biodiversity. - Credit: Supplied

Wondering why the verges outside your home are no longer being cut to within an inch of their lives? It's part of a new strategy to encourage wildlife and boost biodiversity.

Formal grass areas in front of houses and elsewhere across the borough are now going to be cut to 45mm, instead of the 25mm in the past, thanks to the local Climate Change Member Group on WHBC.

This falls in line with the recommendations from the RSPB for formal grass cutting lengths in urban areas to keep the town looking ship shape and tidy whilst at the same time helping to boost biodiversity.

Cutting verges less and leaving grass longer is better for wildlife.

Cutting verges less and leaving grass longer is better for wildlife. - Credit: Supplied

Liberal Democrat Cllr Tamsin Jackson-Mynott has been working for four years to see these changes happen: “I am absolutely delighted and will shout it from the rooftops, this is wonderful news for all of us.

"In the coming years we will see blooms in our verges in spring and summer heralding the longer days, and with it more bugs and birds. Connectivity is the key and this tiny change to the regular grass cut will help bees and other insects travel between meadow areas, with flower ‘cafes’ to refuel at. Love your dandelions, adore your daisies and enjoy spotting lots of new species.”

Cllr Jackson-Mynott has also been instrumental in increasing the conservation meadow grass areas across the borough and supported officers in their call for suggestions from residents on areas you would like to see changed into wildlife havens.

The RSPB offers the following advice when it comes to grass cutting lengths: "Mowing your lawn less saves you time and makes a big difference to the wildlife in your garden. Create a mini jungle for beetles and other small creatures to wander and where sparrows and goldfinches can come to feed on the seeds.

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"The grasses will set seed, wildflowers can bloom and provide nectar, and the longer stems will create a sheltered microclimate. Avoid using strimmers too, as they can injure hedgehogs, frogs and insect larvae. If you can resist mowing your lawn until late summer, this will mimic the hay meadows of old."