Buckinghamshire Council: call to change grass cutting regime to protect biodiversity

Buckinghamshire Council: call to change grass cutting regime to protect biodiversity

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Buckinghamshire is facing biodiversity collapse.

The Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) states that at current rates a species is lost every two years in the county due to ongoing developments and practices.

This petition calls on Buckinghamshire Council to make effective changes to their roadside grass cutting regimes to protect and enhance biodiversity within the county.

This means:

  • Reducing the number of annual grass cuts across the board from the current 4 to a maximum of 2;
  • Prevent grass cutting during the summer months (April to September) when flora and pollinating insect species are most abundant;
  • For areas which require maintenance, adapt and produce more effective grass cutting strategies with subcontractors to reduce the amount of land that is cut;
  • Work with local parish councils to effectively implement these changes across the county.

The BAP states: "Public land (e.g. road verges) all have the potential to provide for wildlife if managed sensitively. Simply changing grass and hedgerow cutting regimes can have significant positive effects for a range of species".

Further, if these changes are made there are substantial financial gains to be made by Buckinghamshire Council. An example of this can be seen from Dorset County Council which saved over £250,000 by scaling back grass cutting to sustainable levels between 2014/15 and 2018/19.

With the Government and councils across the country making commitments to protect and enhance biodiversity, now is the time for Buckinghamshire Council to act and lead the way in developing a new approach to roadside grass cutting that focuses on protecting the wildlife that is under threat.