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Give bees a chance: councils told to stop cutting grass

This news post is over 7 years old

​Cutting back on mowing would help the environment - and save cash

An overwhelming majority of the public want councils to help bees by cutting grass less often.

A poll by Friends of the Earth (FoE) and Buglife shows that more than 80% of people say verges and other areas should be left unmown to protect bees and other pollinators.

The charities say the move would also benefit cash-strapped local authorities, saving them thousands every year by reducing grass cutting.

In addition, the YouGov survey found that almost two thirds (63%) agreed that councils should be doing more to protect bees, 88% support councils reducing the use of bee-harming pesticides and 92% support local authorities in planting more wildflowers and other insect friendly plants in parks and community spaces

Buglife and FoE are urging councils to play their part in boosting the nation’s bee populations with a new guide for local authorities on the measures they can take to help pollinators.

FoE chief executive Craig Bennett said: “Local councils have a vital part to play in helping the UK’s under-threat bee populations.

“Policies, such as allowing grass to grow on roadside verges and in certain areas in parks, will help bees, save cash-strapped councils money and are supported by the public too.

“We hope many more councils will stand up for our bees and nature and introduce comprehensive pollinator action plans in the months ahead.”

Dr Paul Evans, lead pollinator advisor at Buglife, said: “We are not advocating abandoning areas of council land but introducing a new less intensive form of grassland management.

“Effectively cutting grass less in the right places will not only help to counter pollinator decline it will benefit wildlife and people too. The message is a win, win, win for councils save money, help nature, enrich people’s lives.”