Trouble in the hedgerows?

The BeeHolder, January 2010

A letter

You may remember that last spring produced an exceptional flowering of all sorts of plants along the roadside verges throughout the County. This was most welcome, as it came when the bees were just starting to forage again after another difficult, mild winter. I remember admiring the flowers and thinking that perhaps the bees would have

a good few weeks to build themselves up for the summer ahead. Then the Council workforce came along and cut the verges leaving absolutely nothing except an inch or so of brown grass stems.

Now don’t get me wrong: I quite see that for road safety reasons it is necessary to trim long vegetation near to road junctions and on bends. The verges quite often get to that state here by about the end of June. But this was during April: the grass was only a few inches high and was neither a danger nor an inconvenience to anyone.

So here’s how I think the Council could save some of our money, and help the environment as well. They could leave all roadside grass cutting until the first spring flowering is over. I have written to them, but I don’t think they’ll listen to an individual. Do you think a letter from the Association or from other members would persuade them of the sense of this idea?

Bill Downie, Trefeglwys

Yes Bill, I think both letters could well help. Individual letters first and then I think Chairman Doug could make an executive decision to write on MBKA notepaper. For the correct format he could phone round a majority of the committee and get their approval first. When I first came to Wales the council sprayed herbicide on the verges twice a year. Over the years public pressure has encouraged the Council to take an ever more enlightened (and cheaper) policy. The pressure on them should be polite but relentless.

(ED.)

Betony (Betonica officinalis), Sheep's bit (Jasione montana), Wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia)

Pictures from PowysCC Roadside Verge Nature Reserves WebPage