Grass Cutting in Stourport
Last week's article by Rob Lloyd (below this) about uncut grass drew contrasting responses. Some expressed concern about untidiness, as Rob did. Others stressed the ecological advantages of letting grass grow, thereby allowing wild flowers to establish themselves.
Actually, we agree with both sentiments. Our concern for tidiness is stronger when considering housing estates where regularly cut and tidy grassed areas are part of the amenity expected of urban living.
However, apart from traffic visibility issues, we can happily accept long grass on highways land. We acknowledge the benefit to the environment, but with one proviso. Even if allowed to "grow wild", such areas would still have to appear to be to some extent cared-for, not abandoned.
We believe that this can be done, as illustrated in the photograph below. The colourful profusion of wild flowers here is not entirely natural. Seeds have been sown by human hand to enhance nature. Patches like this placed at intervals along uncut areas in urban and suburban locations enhance the environment and show that the land is being tended.
We will pursue this subject with the highways authority, Worcestershire County Council.
Wild flower planting in Stourport Road, Kidderminster
Councillor Rob Lloyd is concerned about untidy long grass in Redstone Lane
"The grass on many public spaces is uncut and untidy. Could this be a result of national government’s austerity policies, its deliberate reduction of funds for council services?
The answer is "Yes". Worst affected is Worcestershire County Council. It has reduced its highways verge cutting to twice a year. Long uncut grass at the roadside can actually be desirable on environmental grounds. However, in locations which contribute to local amenity, knee-high grass is unacceptable.
This photo is a case in point - it shows the grassed area at the junction of Hermitage Way and Redstone Lane, which in its current state detracts significantly from the street scene. It is just one of many. Grassed verges on pavements throughout Stourport are similarly neglected.
We can and will lobby the county council to cut more often, especially where drivers' vision might be impaired. But real change requires the end of the policy of austerity at national level."
Councillor Rob Lloyd
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