The cynic in me says the following story has something to do with cost saving as well, but l am delighted to hear that signs are being put up at 30 different locations across Bath advising residents that verges in the area will be cut less often.
Bath & North East Somerset Council says it’s an effort to halt the decline in insect pollinators.
From Twerton to Widcombe verges will be cut less frequently, between one and three times a year, in order to allow wild flowers to grow to provide nectar and pollen for insects.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services and Heritage, said: “The number of bees and other pollinators has declined significantly in recent years through loss of habitat, the use of pesticides and new diseases. These creatures are critical as they pollinate trees, whose oxygen we breathe and which help mitigate the climate crisis.
They also pollinate the plants that feed other animals and play a vital role in the pollination of agricultural crops that provide our food.
“We need to give these insects space to thrive and have based our decision on research from the Urban Pollinators project. Their evidence shows pollinators have suffered particularly badly in the countryside and that urban areas represent an important refuge for them. By allowing wildflowers to grow in verges we can ensure these insects have access to the food sources they need through the summer.”
The decision to cut verges less often forms part of the council’s Get Bath Buzzing Pollinator Action Plan which will be launched at the Bath Festival of Nature at Green Park Station on Saturday 1 June.
The plan spans five years and will see the council working with a variety of partners to support healthy and diverse populations of pollinators to benefit local residents, the economy and the environment by:
• Contributing to the West of England Nature Recovery Network
• Continuing to manage wildflower grasslands and other habitats in Bath & North East Somerset to promote biodiversity.
• Creating and enhancing habitats and wildlife corridors for pollinators where appropriate.
• Encouraging community involvement in events and practical activities, including surveying and monitoring pollinators.
• Raising awareness of the plight of pollinators and the actions needed to help reverse species declines.
The council is already working to preserve and create habitats in which pollinators can thrive for example its parks department incorporates nectar-rich plants into formal planting schemes and provides allotment holders and community groups with information on how to create similar habitats.
Residents are also being encouraged to help by planting nectar and pollen rich plants and leaving long grass and overgrown areas to provide nesting sites for insects.