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Leave it Longer

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wildflower verge

Leave it longer to help nature flourish! has learned that this summer Somerset Council will be leaving it longer when it comes to grass cutting in a bid to help boost the county's biodiversity.

From May, where safe to do so, mowing routines across council managed highway verges, open spaces, country parks and council property grounds will be reduced, to encourage wildlife, and create vibrant grasslands that buzz with life, where wildflowers bloom, and pollinators thrive.

Providing larger, higher quality and better-connected grasslands across the county is pivotal to ensuring habitats are of high quality and support a diverse abundance of species. Defra has appointed Somerset Council as the lead for the Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Somerset, and grassland networks that deliver well-connected pollinator-friendly spaces will form part of this. This also includes green spaces and parks that transition to the capable hands of our parish, town, and city councils, and as they take the reins, we will also encourage them to embrace the leave it longer spirit and leave space for nature to thrive.

Which all sounds admirable and seems like a worthy cause. Just as long as those with responsibility – whether Somerset Council or our local town and parish councils do ensure they adhere to the 'where safe to do so' comment (Somerset Council's own proviso).

We hear much about the dangers of the walk from Curry Rivel to Langport along the A378 in support of the Active Travel Project. Let's hope those highway verges bordering that already narrow path are not earmarked to be left longer!

Volunteers did a great job in 2022 clearing the undergrowth and widening the path. But it needs regular work which our excellent volunteers cannot continue to do – health and safety!

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