The amount of times grass verges on the Isle of Wight are cut could be reduced, in a bid to save money and boost the Island’s ecosystem.
The Isle of Wight could follow in the footsteps of Dorset County Council which has saved almost a quarter of a million pounds by reducing the number of times the grass verges are cut from seven to two a year.
Trialed in Dorset
Last summer, Dorset trialed new ways of managing verges to produce cost savings.
The trials involved different methods of management to reduce the soil fertility within the verge itself and decrease grass growth.
They found this approach led to roadside verges rich in delicate wildflowers, providing a valuable source of nectar for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects.
A report, due to go before the scrutiny committee this week says:
“With the squeeze on public finance we have much less money available to satisfy this demand, and with milder autumns and springs leading to extended growing seasons, there is greater public pressure on us to cut more rather than less often.
“In Dorset they are taking a different approach to these problems, and they start from the principle that if they can reduce the amount that grass grows in the first place, they will have less to cut, and this should cost them less.”
A more diverse ecosystem
As soil nutrients decrease, the number of plants that can survive increases and it produces a more diverse ecosystem.
A report by the two Isle of Wight councillors says:
“This approach has also won over the public, as vast areas of verges are more colourful and visited by many more wildlife species some of which are recognised as Dorset specialities.”
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed