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Carmarthenshire County Council highways crews are starting their annual roadside grass cutting operations this week to safeguard the highway whilst preserving important areas of habitat.

As part of its duty to protect biodiversity, grass will only be cut in one metre swathes in most areas where growth is affecting road visibility and pedestrian safety and several verges will be left until later in the year allowing flowers to set seed before being cut.

Much of Carmarthenshire’s roadside growth of grass and wildflowers will be left untouched to support local wildlife and pollinating insects.

Cuts will only be taken in these areas if there are health and safety concerns, particularly in 30-40mph areas in towns and villages.

Hedges and boundary trees remain the responsibility of the adjacent landowner and should be regularly inspected and maintained. If trees or hedges are not properly managed, they can interfere with road safety, particularly at junctions or bends where they can compromise essential visibility.

Cllr Edward Thomas, the council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Infrastructure Services said: “These operations have been carefully developed to safeguard the highway and preserve important areas of habitat. We have a responsibility to maintain road safety for all users, ensure visibility, provide areas for pedestrians to step off the carriageway if there are no footways and to stop unwanted species establishing. However, we only cut the minimum required. In most places grass is only cut in one metre swathes in areas where growth is affecting road visibility and pedestrian safety, and many areas are cut earlier or later in the season to allow native species to flourish.”

Pollinating insects are essential for the maintenance of ecosystems through pollination of the wild plants which form the basis of most habitats. They also play an important role in the production of many crops.

The council works to conserve and enhance biodiversity and has a range of projects to support local species and habitats.

Managing areas for wildlife can provide opportunities for individuals, community groups and schools to get involved, benefiting wildlife and people.

Visit our Biodiversity pages for further information and ideas for ways to support local conservation.

For more info on the council’s grass verge cutting visit our FAQs section on the council website carmarthenshire.gov.wales

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