Tall grass

BCP Council’s change in grass cutting management increases biodiversity

Green spaces across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) are benefitting from an increase in biodiversity due to BCP Council’s change in grass management.

Areas of grass have been cut less frequently this year, allowing an abundance of wildflowers to thrive across the conurbation.

The trial was agreed by the authority’s Cabinet last year and has seen the establishment of grass meadows in open spaces and on roundabouts and verges, some of which are now displaying a profusion of colour.

BCP Council said that reducing the frequency of mowing helps to increase biodiversity by creating conditions that support a range of plants and wildlife, in particular pollinators which have suffered widespread decline.

Bee orchids which had previously been lying dormant for years, have now been spotted in Christchurch and in numerous locations across Poole, while the pyramidal orchid has also been seen across Poole, in Mudeford and on the cliffs in Boscombe.

Commenting, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Cleansing and Waste, Councillor Mark Anderson said:

“After creating green deserts for so many years, this trial is one that I fully support and it’s great to hear that these orchids have been given the chance to flower and reproduce, along with an array of other wildflowers and various insects

“Managing our grassland habitats sympathetically can provide massive benefits, increasing biodiversity as these meadows attract and support a range of species, as well as increasing carbon capture and creating a variety of colours and textures across the area.

“We are passionate about leading our communities towards a cleaner, sustainable future and this trial helps enormously towards this priority.

“This work is likely to be ongoing over a number of years with different methods and practices being trialled based on our continued learning.

“We are undertaking frequent reviews to inform this approach and this will enable us to assess the best way to manage our grass areas to achieve our aims.”

The trial falls under the council’s ‘Cleaner, Greener, Safer’ initiative that aims to bring a sense of pride to place, with other green initiatives including the authority’s pledge to plant over 10,000 trees in 2021.

‘Let it Grow’ signs are currently being placed across the conurbation to explain why the grass is being left to grow longer.

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