Wiltshire Council has installed signage at some sites around the county to promote its new Wild about Wiltshire approach to grass cutting, to improve biodiversity and encourage bees and other pollinators to thrive. The new scheme encourages wildflower growth in some areas, with other areas to be left for rewilding.
Wildflower and rewilding areas create vital habitats for insects and other wildlife and attract natural pollinators such as bees, and also help to keep soil healthy by reducing the need for further pesticides and artificial pollination methods.
The scheme will cover a range of areas, from rural locations to more urban grassy areas and parklands. Highways land is carefully managed to balance safety, carbon reduction and biodiversity. The council cuts verges at junctions and along narrow lanes to ensure visibility for all road users.
Newly designed and installed Wild about Wiltshire signage will start popping up around the county to highlight the areas that are being left to grow and encourage members of the public to find out more about the importance of wildflowers to our natural environment and biodiversity.
Members of the public will be asked to get involved in raising awareness and will be encouraged to send their favourite fauna and wildflower pictures to the council’s social media channels and using #WildaboutWiltshire.
Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Street Scene, said: “In our business plan, we have committed to mitigate the climate challenges ahead, and Wild about Wiltshire helps us to do that.
“This campaign is all about improving biodiversity and the natural environment as much as we can in some areas, while still keeping some grassland areas cut regularly for both leisure and safety reasons.
“We know that some people want us to cut all verges and amenity areas, while others want us to leave them uncut to encourage wildlife – and Wild about Wiltshire helps us to find a balance.
“We are hoping that by installing the new Wild about Wiltshire signs it will help to increase understanding to why some areas are being left uncut and why we try a range of measures with our grass cutting approach.
“We would love for the public to join us in this initiative by either sending us photos of their favourite flowers and areas as they thrive and grow, using the #WildaboutWiltshire and tagging us on social media or even by getting even more involved by taking up the scheme in their own gardens.”
Residents can also get involved by creating their own rewilding and wildflower areas in their own gardens by saying “No to the Mow” and simply mowing once in the spring and then leaving the areas until the autumn to allow the perennial flowers to push through the grass.
For more information on grass cutting, wildflower areas and Wild about Wiltshire, people should visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/highways-wild-about-wiltshire
People wishing to nominate an area for rewilding can speak to the local town and parish council. Contact details can be found Town and Parish Council Details. Representatives of town and parish councils looking to nominate an area can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Wild about Wiltshire form.