NO Mow May is set to be scaled back in the district next year.
Warwick District Council took part for the first time this year in the national campaign organised by charity Plantlife, which encourages local authorities to suspended grass cutting for a month at a key time for the nurturing of plants and insects.
It saw cutting suspended in all areas of the district apart from cemeteries, sports pitches, children’s play areas and major parks including Jephson Gardens, Pump Rooms, St Nicholas Park, and Abbey Fields, together with grass paths.
The move followed the declaration of an ecological emergency in the district last year.
The suspension of cutting in the district allowed grass and wild plants to grow and flourish covering equivalent of some 266 football pitches.
But while the campaign in the district was judged an overall success there problems which brought criticism from residents, ranging from the long grass obstructing road junctions to simply looking scruffy and unkempt.
And when cutting resumed on June 5, WDC’s contractors idverde found the grass was much longer than anticipated, due to weather conditions in May, that their machinery struggled to cut it.
It forced WDC to allow idverde to hire additional machinery at a one-off cost of nearly £27,500.
Authorisation was also given for mowing teams to work overtime to help catch-up on the backlog – costing the council a further £6,763, but reducing the catch-up time
from seven weeks to four.
While there was frustration at the delay , which included some residents even verbally abusing contractors when mowing recommenced – a survey of residents by WDC saw the campaign given the thumbs-up by six in ten of the 4,200 residents who responded.
A review concluded that the Council scales back the areas to be included in
2024 to reduce the ‘catch up’, to plan timing and resources based on lessons
learned this year.