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Grass is also cut to reduce pollen
12:00am Saturday 18th August 2012 in Your Letters
Understandably, Mr Clifford was dismayed when a grassy bank near him in Holmers Farm Way was so badly cut that the earth was also damaged (BFP letters August 3). But unless floral displays are included on the bank as a regular feature, it is not only the wild flowers that flourish but also the grasses, and this year with so much rain, the wayside grasses have almost exploded with their own flowering stems, all of which produce a great deal of grass pollen, which is one of the major causes of hay-fever.
So apart from aiding visibility for drivers, most grass is cut by the council to help reduce the pollen in our area and thus help other sufferers from pollen allergies. I also saw with pleasure that the former rough area along the edge of the Bucks New Uni grounds in Queen Alexandra Road has been sown with wild flower seeds, and we are now enjoying the results of that happy idea – I am surprised that Ivor has not mentioned it so far.
However, from what I could see from the park and ride bus, the mixture of wild flowers growing are all cornfield species, most of which are annual and in order to continue the display for the following year, their seeds need to fall on disturbed ground so that it can germinate again in the spring to flower once more, so wild flower ‘meadows’ are not maintenance-free by any means, and are not totally self-sustaining unless, as in a farm cornfield, the soil is regularly turned over by ploughing. For several years I was privileged to help maintain a wildflower meadow in the grounds of Butler’s Court in Beaconsfield (now sadly sold and built on) and we solved the problem by planting quite a lot of native perennial wildflowers that do return each year. But once the seed has set, the meadow must still be mowed gently or better still scythed to allow new growth to begin in due season so that another year of wildflower beauty can be enjoyed. I shall watch the wildflower patch in the university grounds with interest.
Judith Smith Eaton Avenue, High Wycombe
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