We’re changing the way we manage the grass verges and open spaces we’re responsible for.
This is to help us better support our local wildlife and plant life (known as biodiversity).
What are we doing?
Where it is safe to do so (for example in areas where it doesn’t affect visibility for drivers) we are reducing grass cutting on some verges and opens spaces we are responsible for.
We are trialling this approach in a few locations to start with to see what flowers appear when we let the grass grow naturally first.
We will also then look to source seeds which best complement the existing flowers, to increase their numbers where needed.
Where we don’t have responsibility for an area, we are actively working with others, such as local town and parish councils, to help them introduce their own wildflower areas or plant more trees. Find out more about our trees, hedgerow and wildflower scheme
The following image shows an example of an area left entirely uncut:
The following image shows an example of strips cut to either side of the path:
Why are we doing this?
Cutting grass may be an easy way to keep open spaces looking tidy, but it isn’t very good for wildlife or the environment.
We also made a commitment, when our Biodiversity Action Plan was approved, to increase the number of wildflower areas across both districts.
The aim of this is to help increase our local wildlife and plant life and support the environment.
What are the benefits?
Wildflowers provide food for many insects, including bees and butterflies.
Longer grass and flowers provide a home for wildlife.
Longer grass also helps stop the ground dry out so quickly, as it stays cooler than short grass.
Cutting less often means we use less fuel too, which is better for the environment.
The wildflowers can make verges and open space more attractive and interesting.
Where are we doing this?
We are trialling this in several places, mainly across Stowmarket and Sudbury, but also in other towns and villages.
We hope to gradually do this in many more places over the coming years.
How can I tell if an area is one of your wildflower areas?
We are in the process of getting signs created for each of the areas we manage. These will include our logo, and details on how to get in touch with us to share your feedback.
Will the grass ever be cut again?
While we’re leaving the grass to grow, we will be cutting the areas at the end of summer and again in the spring.
This will be done in a way that will support the growth of more wildflowers when we leave the grass to grow again.
Does it mean less cost for the councils?
We’ve had to invest in a new mower which enables us to do the special cuts needed to encourage wildflower growth. We’ve also hired a dedicated biodiversity officer, and need to purchase millions of seeds. And, our grounds maintenance team will also continue to manage these spaces just as carefully as we did before.
What can I do?
Tell us what you think!
Do you enjoy seeing more colourful wildflowers and wildlife, or do you like short grass?
Are there places near you you’d like us to try this on?
Are there more things you think we could do with our verges and open spaces that would help both wildlife and the environment?
Let us know – we’d love to hear from you.
You could also encourage your local town or parish council, or a community group or club which has publicly accessible land to apply to our trees, hedgerows and wildflowers scheme.