SWANSEA Council’s park team are taking clever new approaches to grass cutting that help protect plant and insect life across city communities.
Thanks to Welsh Government grants for new equipment and advice from eco-charity Plantlife, the council is using new ways to cut grass that promotes pollinators, wildflowers and environmentally healthy parks and verges.
The move comes as part of the council’s commitment to playing its part in tackling climate change and biodiversity loss by promoting plant life and is on top of its hugely popular wildflower planting initiative.
Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement and Infrastructure Management said: “We led the way among local authorities with the wildflower initiative, creating insect havens that were also colourful additions to local communities and roadsides.
“At the same time, we also reduced the amount of grass cutting we do to allow insects and wildflowers to thrive in parks and on roadsides. Now we’re aiming to boost local diversity even more with our new cut and collect grass management programme.
“Our new approach to grass cutting is in addition to what we’re already doing and is the best of both worlds because it encourages the maintenance of species-rich vegetation in parks and verges. It also curbs the growth of invasive plants that can sometimes take over habitats.
“But the best thing about it is that we cut the grass twice in the season at specific times so that flowers can complete their lifecycles and naturally distribute seed ready for the next time.
“This cutting less and cutting later approach to grassy areas replenish the seed bank, restores floral diversity, and provides pollinator habitat across the county.”
The Welsh Government has supported the scheme with grant funding for specialist cutting equipment and new machinery. It cuts and collects grass while at the same time carefully removing other dead vegetation to allow air and rain to get to the soil so that seeds have room to germinate.
To find out more about how the grass cut and collect programme helps boost biodiversity in our communities, go to: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/cutandcollect