18 March, 2021

New grass cutting regime for pollinators

Creating a beautiful native wildflower corridor throughout Thanet for the benefit of pollinators, wildlife, residents and visitors is the objective behind changes to Thanet District Council’s  grass cutting regime.

This change in management of the district’s open spaces has been approved by Cabinet tonight (Thursday 18 March) and is part of the council’s response to declaring a Climate Emergency in 2019.

This immediate action, which has been informed by advice from the Bumblebee Trust and Plantlife UK, will help to combat the ecological crisis and create beautiful native wildflowers for residents and visitors to enjoy. 

As part of this activity the council will be reducing cutting for pollinators in specific areas to create wildflower meadows along our seafront. An initiative promoted by Plantlife Charity called #NomowMay will also be introduced in parks and some squares in Thanet. This means there will only be cutting around the edges of these parks during the month of May. 

The cutting will not change in many areas such as memorial grounds, football pitches and areas of high footfall.

Cabinet Member for Operational Services, Cllr Steve Albon said: “Pollinators such as bees, butterflies and moths are vital for our food, economy and environment. Sadly they are in serious decline. The loss of pollinators is a direct threat to our food supply and would also mean fewer flowers in our gardens or countryside too. 

“By making these small but important changes to the way we maintain our open spaces we are doing what we can to help minimise this decline. We will also be working hard to ensure that there is not a detrimental impact to the overall appearance of the district as a result too. Areas which will be left for wildflowers or where there will be a reduction to the level of cutting, will still be maintained to allow easy access and not impact on social use of the space. 

“Tonight’s decision is a positive step forward towards protecting the vital biodiversity of our district. Since declaring the climate emergency the council has been working hard to implement changes to the way it works and to encourage positive action by the local community too. By taking small steps we can all work towards making a big difference to the threat to the ecology.”

The council is encouraging the community to assist pollinators by planting bee friendly flowers such as lavender, thyme, foxglove, borage, buddleia and honeysuckle. Residents can also consider taking part in ‘no mow May’ and setting aside a small part of their garden to go wild for pollinators. To find out more please visit our website: thanet.gov.uk/pollinators

There is a legal obligation on public bodies in England* to have regard to particular living organisms and types of habitat which are of the greatest conservation importance whilst carrying out their functions. This is also while having a general regard for protecting all biodiversity.

*Section 40 of The Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006

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