Grass cutting phased back in with wildflowers protected

Wirral Council has released information regarding a gradual approach to resuming grass cutting in the borough.

Many residents have noticed an increase in the growth of wildflowers at grassed areas and the council plan to protect sites of wildflowers by reintroducing grass cutting in a phased program.

In line with the council's Climate Emergency Response and the Pollinator Action Plan, no mowing will be taking place where wildflowers of significance have established until later in the year, when the early flowering season has taken place.

The authority says that wildflowers are a good source of food for pollinators such as bees and cuckoo flower or ladies smock can encourage native butterflies to lay on them.

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Residents can suggest locations where rewilding can be prioritised by visiting the council website. This will help to shape the revised mowing schedule, where practical.

Parks and Countryside staff are responsible for the maintenance of grass cutting across the borough and this phased approach will ensure that pollinators are protected, and that essential cutting is addressed.

Initial priorities will be on the borough’s cemeteries and crematoria as well as main road grass verges. These locations are considered the most vital to help ensure that residents can safely maintain the government’s social distancing guidelines.

Similarly, to assist with social distancing and maintenance, a phased programme of grass cutting works is being restarted at parks.

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An increased use of park areas, for exercise in line with government guidelines, will ensure that residents in the local area can continue to use them safely.

The council will also be carrying out annual reinstatement maintenance work at football pitches.

The authority says that the required seeding, germination and grass establishment takes approximately three months, so it is important that this process starts now to ensure that they can be used safely when government lift the social distancing guidelines.

The pitches will also be mowed at a suitable height to ensure the pitches are sufficiently maintained.

The council is asking the public to remember to respect council maintenance teams and contractors as they go about their work at the moment by keeping the advised two metre distance.

Any maintenance work will be carried out safely, in line with governments social distancing guidelines and/or with the required PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

Grass maintenance will continue to prioritise road safety sight line verge cutting to ensure the safety of those on essential journeys.

Changes to the usual mowing schedule to protect wildflowers and pollinators is in addition to the rewilding programme that the authority is already implementing at several sites around Wirral.

The Pollinator Action Plan was driven by the work of the Steering Group of the Parks & Countryside Partnership and Performance Board.

The council is currently working on implementing the latest government guidelines with regard to Parks and Open Spaces.

For the latest information on grass cutting, visit grass cutting and ground maintenance.