Verges to be cut less in bid to help birds and bees

  Posted: 29.04.21 at 16:34 by Sian Bayley - Local Democracy Reporter

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Richmond council has announced it will reduce the amount it cuts roadside grass in a bid to improve biodiversity.

Both Richmond and Kingston councils announced they would be trialing the new approach which will leave grass verges to grow for longer than usual.

They say it is hoped this will allow wildflowers to appear, helping to support butterfly and bumblebee populations.

The councils say this will also improve air quality as well as introduce colour to the highways.

Both have been keen to stress it is not a cost cutting exercise.

Richmond council said: “The council is working differently, not less. Equipment needed to cut longer grass costs considerably more, however the environmental gains far outweigh this cost.”

Elliot Newton, Kingston Council's Biodiversity Officer

In Richmond the current maintenance regime sees all highway grass verges cut approximately every two to three weeks during the growing season.

As part of the trial, the borough’s grass verges will be split into three categories: urban highways, rural highways, and conservation highways.

Residents can check which highways fall into which category here.

Ishbel Murray, Assistant Director for Environment and Community Services at Richmond Council, said the new maintenance regime will be monitored and feedback will be collated and used to make any revisions going forward.

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