Posted: Sat 15th Apr 2023

Flintshire Council: New grass cutting policy aims to support nature and well-being of local communities

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 15th, 2023

Flintshire County Council’s Environment Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet have approved changes to the county-wide grass cutting policy, which aims to support nature and the well-being of local communities.

The changes include introducing wildflower spaces and areas of reduced mow, supported by Welsh Government grant funding, to create a more diverse grassland estate.

The move has received positive feedback from the community and is expected to provide multiple benefits such as visual and noise barriers along roads, increased pollution and water absorption, improved carbon storage, and habitat for wildlife.

Flintshire County Council has already invested grant funding from the Welsh Government Local Places for Nature fund in a Foamstream system which treats weeds with hot foam containing plant starches. Now, Flintshire County Council is committed to expanding alternative treatments and exploring options, which are better for both the people and the environment in Flintshire.

The policy now also contains steps to support nature in each of the areas it covers, prioritising road user safety and ensuring sites look intentional through the use of mown borders, paths, and signage where necessary.

With only 2% of traditional grassland habitats left in the UK, this step is a significant move towards creating important habitats throughout the county, supporting vital pollinators and a healthy natural environment, which is important for residents’ well-being.

In addition to grassland management, the council also approved a move to reduce the use of glyphosate-based herbicide, which is widely used to treat weeds but is classed as “Probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organisation.

Flintshire County Council has already invested in a Foamstream system that uses hot foam containing plant starches to treat weeds.

The council is now committed to expanding alternative treatments that are better for both people and the environment.

Katie Wilby, Chief Officer for Streetscene and Transportation, said the changes were a vital part of the council’s plan to tackle the nature and climate crisis.

Cllr David Healey Cabinet member for Climate Change and Economy and Environment & Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee member said: “This action is pioneering in Wales as far as we know, and our decision to approve these changes in policy sends a clear message that Flintshire County Council is serious about addressing the nature and climate crisis and that we recognise the importance of a healthy environment for the wellbeing of our residents.”

While some may question whether the policy changes are cost-cutting measures via the back door, the council has emphasised their focus on supporting nature and the well-being of communities, prioritising road safety and visual aesthetics.

The move towards reduced mow and herbicide reduction is a significant step towards creating important habitats and a healthy environment in Flintshire.

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