Grass cutting gets the chop as 40 areas left to grow and ‘re-wild’

Tall grasses and wild flowers in churchyards will be the shape of things to come Picture: RICHARD CO

Tall grasses and wild flowers in churchyards will be the shape of things to come Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL - Credit: Archant

Forty areas across east Suffolk are being allowed to ‘re-wild’ - with weeds, grasses and wildlflowers allowed to grow uncut to attract wildlife.

Councillor James Mallinder, cabinet member for the environment.

Councillor James Mallinder, cabinet member for the environment. - Credit: EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

Some of the areas are open spaces on estates, and other include wide verges along roads, and roundabouts.

Non-essential grounds maintenance, including grass cutting, was temporarily suspended in April to ensure the safety of staff and the public. During this time, only grassed areas which presented a safety, visibility or access issue were cut.

Some of the areas where grass was left to grow longer over the past two months have started to ‘re-wild’, with anecdotal examples of increases in insect and pollinator levels, and an increase in the numbers of wildflowers.

East Suffolk Council is reviewing the way these spaces are managed going forward and 40 areas across the district have been identified as ‘wild spaces’ to increase biodiversity where grass will be left to grow, wildflower seeds will be planted, and the area will not be cut until the end of the season.

These areas, which are large enough to provide an environmental benefit and do not present any safety issues for communities, will be marked with new signs to make residents and visitors aware.

James Mallinder, cabinet member for the environment, said: “We know our residents are keen for us to create more spaces for the benefit of wildlife and had already committed to trialling reduced strimming and cutting in Southwold and Saxmundham this year.

Most Read

“Reduced grass cutting across the whole of East Suffolk, enforced by Covid-19 restrictions, helped us to identify these larger spaces which will be ideal for conservation and we will now manage these to help wildlife to thrive, through reduced cutting and the sowing of wildflowers.

“We are committed to promoting environmental sustainability and ensure responsible stewardship of our open spaces. By making these small changes, we are hopeful these conservation areas will benefit both wildlife and local people living nearby.”

In addition, a trial of managing grass more sustainably in some churchyards has been well received, so this will now become permanent.

In residential and other key areas such as parks, grass cutting will continue as per the usual maintenance schedule.

Town and parish councils, supported by East Suffolk Norse, will be asked to monitor these conservation areas to remove litter and control any invasive plant species.

The areas which will be managed for the benefit of wildlife are:

· Castleton Avenue, Lowestoft (footpaths)

· Bloodmoor Road, Carlton Colville (two roundabouts)

· Yarmouth Road, Lowestoft

· Beaconsfield Road / Field Lane, Kessingland

· Lloyds Avenue / Church Road, Kessingland

· Kilbrack, Beccles (open space)

· London Road, Beccles (open space)

· Barnham Road, Beccles (open space)

· Cemetery, Beccles

· Waveney Drive, Bungay (open space)

· Wherry Road, Bungay (open space)

· Mayfair Road, Bungay (open space)

· Stradbroke Road, Lowestoft (open space)

· Dorleydale, Carlton Colville (open space)

· Dales, Lowestoft (footpath)

· Colsterdale, Carlton Colville (open space)

· Aveling Way, Carlton Colville (open space)

· Marbella Green, Carlton Colville (open space)

· Westwood Avenue / Long Road, South Lowestoft

· College Meadows, Lowestoft

· Durban Close, Halesworth

· Allington Road, Halesworth (open space)

· Jermyn Way, Halesworth (open space)

· Chichester Road, Halesworth (open space)

· Old Station Road, Halesworth (open space)

· A1152 to Warwick Avenue, Woodbridge – Melton – Bredfield Road (verges)

· Bury Hill, Woodbridge (road banks)

· Woodbridge A12 from A1152 – B1428 (verges)

· B14138, Ufford (verges)

· Garrison Lane, Felixstowe (verges)

· Grove Road, Felixstowe (verges)

· Candlet Road, Felixstowe (verges)

· Cliff Road Car Park, Old Felixstowe

· Barons Close, Old Felixstowe (verges)

· Brandon Road, Felixstowe (open space)

· Grange Farm Road, Felixstowe (open space)

· Warren Avenue, Saxmundham

· B1119 Rendham Road (verges)

· St John Church, Church Hill, B1119

· Main Road B1121, Bridge Street B1121, Rosemary Lane B1121