‘Rewilding’ initiative set to grow wildflowers on Barnsley’s roadside verges

Barnsley Council is considering implementing a “rewilding” initiative, to introduce more wildflowers to grass verges in a bid to help the environment.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 12:07 pm

A similar scheme has been successful for Rotherham Council since it began in 2013, and has saved the authority £23,000 for each two year cycle.

A report to be considered by Barnsley Council’s cabinet on September 22 outlines plans to allow a proportion of the 6,500,000M² of grass in the borough to “rewild” – which could reduce the number of times the grass needs cutting.

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

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Barnsley Town Hall.

The report adds 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 toestablish and help create new habitats and vital shelter for invertebrates andpollinator species”.

Councillor Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesperson for environment and transport, said: “There’s a growing and welcome understanding of climate change and the importance of improving our green spaces and biodiversity.

“We’re working hard towards a more Sustainable Barnsley having committed to reducing our carbon emissions as a council to Net Zero by 2040. Increasing biodiversity levels is an important part of this ambition.

“By allowing selected areas of our grass to naturally re-wild we have a win-win situation, where we’ll increase biodiversity and at the same time free up resources to improve the appearance of the maintained grassed areas which we’ll be able to cut even more often as a result.”