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Why was grass bank mowed so heavily?
12:00am Monday 6th August 2012 in Your Letters
I COULD not agree more with Mike Chadwick (BFP letters July 27), regarding the strimming and mowing of public spaces and gardens. I have seen at first hand an instance of his referred to ‘boring short grass mowed to within an inch of its life’.
Near to where I live on Holmers Farm Way, High Wycombe, a grass bank that in the beginning of summer was alive with colourful native wildflowers and buzzing insects has recently been mowed by a tractor with an extended mowing arm. The blades in this mowing arm have gouged out chunks of earth, and, as if to ensure that absolutely nothing survived, this was followed up by intensive strimming with the result that the grass bank is now full of clods of earth and dead and rotting vegetation. My view is that this rather pleasant bank of flowers now resembles something akin to a first world war battlefield. There is no issue of road safety here as the bank is set well back from the road, it’s just a case of ‘it’s got to be done’, well why?
Council-maintained areas such as this could still be mowed but less often, perhaps when the flowers have set seed. There would also be the advantage that less frequent mowing would surely save the hard-pressed council on maintenance costs.
Locally there has been an example of a planned wildflower area at the Bucks New University opposite the hospital entrance in Queen Alexandra Road and it is a joy of colour and life. There is a growing awareness of the need to protect bees and other pollinating insects upon which we depend for a majority of our food production. Could the council follow Mr Chadwick’s advice and think about a fresh and progressive approach?
Even a trial of a few selected areas would add interest to our local public spaces.
The Olympic Park has a good example of how wildflower areas can be incorporated as part of any development,and enhancing the environment with regard to the protection of bees has become an official part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year celebration. Surely this is an argument for making public places more interesting and colourful, saving resources, and going some way to protect our increasingly vulnerable environment.
Michael Clifford, Westwood, High Wycombe