Barnsley Council to reduce grass-cutting to save insects and wildlife

Barnsley Council’s cabinet has agreed to cut areas of grass less often across the borough, in a bid to encourage wildlife and insects.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 2:01 pm

Councillor Chris Lamb, told a meeting of Barnsley cabinet today that only four per cent of Barnsley’s green areas will be affected by the policy change.

Wildflower seeds will also be sown, in a bid to encourage biodiversity.

A report to cabinet states that the loss of “natural grassland habitats” for pollinating insects has become an “ever-growing environmental concern,” and allowing the grass to grow naturally will “improve biodiversity, encourage wildflowers to establish and help create new habitats and vital shelter for invertebrates and pollinator species”.

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Town Hall.

The report adds that “continual demand on the service to support waste and recycling teams through the pandemic and successive waves of staff infections and isolations” led to a reduction in grass cutting this year.

Councillor Lamb told the cabinet meeting today (September 22) that: “Research to support this paper has shown that many local authorities are reviewing their grass management regimes in favour of increasing the biodiversity volumes of land under their control.

“I fully understand that not everyone will appreciate our environmental efforts, and of course it’s often local councillors who are often at the sharp end of any comments or complaints.

“We’re talking about a rewilding of only about four per cent of the council’s managed grassland area so it’s not a massive area.

“I think if we explained it properly to members of the public and taken absolutely on board councillor Frost’s point about putting signs up so that people know why we’re doing it, I think the majority of the people in the borough would actually welcome this.

“I don’t think this is something that we want to push too far across the borough because it will just make the whole borough look unkempt, but there are certainly areas, in every ward, that I think we can do this.”