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Call to educate Wrexhamites to understand why council not cutting grass can help biodiversity

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Apr 12th, 2019.

Calls for Wrexham Council to stop cutting some grassed areas across the county borough have been made in a bid to increase biodiversity.

The number of grass cuts on public spaces and highway verges have reduced in recent years in a bid to make financial savings and changes to the council’s Street Scene department.

Last year Wrexham Council faced criticism for the lack of both grass and hedge cutting in the springtime, with the delay put down to a “late blast of cold weather and snow” courtesy of the Beast from the East.

The grass cutting season has already started in Wrexham. However this week saw Cartrefle councillor Ronnie Prince call on the council to leave some grassed areas in a bid to increase biodiversity and help the environment.

He said: “There is a massive issue around the world with biodiversity being in massive decline.

“When we cut the grass there is pollinated flowers coming through for the insects, aren’t we adding to the destruction of biodiversity?”

“Can we look at something like a step change in what we do. I’m not saying not to cut everywhere but there are certain grassed areas where we needn’t cut on a regular basis.

“If we want to look after the environment we need to look at what we can do for biodiversity.”

He added that he would be submitting a topic request form for the committee to discuss the issue further at a future meeting.

Not all councillors agreed, with it noted that educating the wider public to the benefits of such a move could be useful and help get members of the public to understand the issue.

Holt councillor Michael Morris said there is no easy solution and that “for everyone person that wants to protect the biodiversity aspect, you will have another one who wants to see the grass cut”.

He added: “At Holt Castle there is an area around there that is well used by locals and tourists who come to the area.

“Two years ago it was left and people were complaining that they couldn’t walk through it, there was dog faeces and they were standing in it because they couldn’t see it.

“So in consultation there is a programme of works with cutting and they do leave certain areas, which are more difficult to cut but they are left for the wildlife.

“Try leaving an area of public open space that has always been cut and you might get some tensions coming up. We need to be aware of where those areas are likely to be so we can make a policy decision on it.”

Cllr David A Bithell, lead member for environment and transport, noted that it was “about getting the balance right” and that there are requests from the public to let the grass grow along with complaints about lack of cuts.

It was also noted that there are certain areas at Moss Valley park were swathes are cut through to allow for biodiversity in the area.

A topic request form on the topic is expected to be submitted to the committee for consideration at a later date.

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