Grass boost for Dearne wildlife

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Kestrels, barn owls, voles, insects and other wildlife are benefiting from a new approach to grass-cutting being introduced in the Dearne Valley near Barnsley over the next three years.

Selected areas of grassland on parkland and verges are being allowed to grow longer between cuts, in a bid to boost wildlife.

The Dearne Valley has been designated a Nature Improvement Area by the government – attracting funding of £560,000 to help carry out the work.

Coun Linda Burgess, Barnsley Council cabinet spokeswoman for development, environment and culture, said: “This work is great for the whole of the Dearne Valley area and local residents.

“The funding will support the work of all partners to create new nature reserves, improve farmland, and protect wildlife.”

Another project to benefit is the planting of 10 hectares of new woodland over the next three winters.

It is hoped the result will alleviate flooding in the area because the trees will soak up excess groundwater.

Local councillors are being consulted over the sites.