Support for Campaign to Protect Natural Environment

June 22, 2021 12:00 PM

Gate at Warrington Council BldgWarrington Council has passed a motion to help protect our natural environment by cutting some grass verges less frequently.

Liberal Democrat Councillors were delighted that their Council Motion was supported by both the Labour and Conservative groups at the Council meeting on 21 June.

The motion proposed by Stockton Heath Councillor Judith Wheeler and seconded by Grappenhall Councillor Mike Biggin asked the Council to support the Plantlife's Charity campaign to 'cut less, cut later' to preserve the variety of wildflowers and grasses on roadside verges. This has been adopted by many Councils across the country.

jwheelerCllr Wheeler said: The Labour Group amended the wording but the spirit of our original motion remained. While some verges and other areas of green space need to be mowed regularly, many could be mown less frequently which would not only save money but would also allow for more wildflower planting.

For years, it has been the accepted norm that verges had to be neat and tidy like manicured lawns. Fortunately, this view is changing as the importance of our natural environment has moved up the political agenda. Many Councils throughout the UK are now implementing 'mow less, mow later' policies and finding other innovative ways or managing their verges. I would like Warrington to join that increasing number by taking steps to become a greener town which recognises its natural environment.

mbigginCouncillor Biggin added: Verges rich in plant species enhance the local character and visual interest of the highway for the road user. This can help the road blend into the wider landscape, reducing visual impact and street clutter. In urban areas. The daily commute is often the only regular contact a road user has with the natural landscape, so wildlife verges are an easy way to connect with a natural landscape, supporting health and well-being.

Research has shown that reducing mowing to just once or twice a year provides more flowers for pollination, allow plants to seed and creates better habitats for other animals. Verges rich in native wild flowers support more wildlife and are more resilient to environmental change.