Bob writes to Council about cutting Grass Verges

MP Bob Seely has written to the Isle of Wight Council asking it to cut roadside grass verges more sensitively to encourage wildflowers on the Island.

In a letter to council leader Dave Stewart, Bob said around 90% of Wildflower meadows have been lost across England since World War II, and it is vital the Island’s council does all it can to encourage bees and other insects who have lost this habitat.

He asked for the council to protect grass verges by cutting them sympathetically to give food and habitat to wildlife during the growing season between April and September.

Bob said Island Conservatives had pledged last year that, if elected, they would cut grass verges less from spring to promote wildflowers and insects.

“Such a policy must put road safety first but it is good for the environment and has the added bonus of making our Island more beautiful and this is good for tourism,” said Bob. “It also costs less money as some areas will need fewer cuts.

“Other authorities, such as Devon County Council, are already undertaking sensitive grass verge cutting with positive results and perhaps the Island’s council can get in touch with Devon to better understand what they are doing so it can be implemented here.

“I know the council shares my aspiration to improve our environment and this is an opportunity to make a positive impact right now and for future generations. However, action is needed to honour an election pledge and help our Island flourish.”

The Department for Food and Rural Affairs recommends a zoned approach to verge-cutting as it can make an important contribution to pollinator insect populations.

A recent BBC report showed that more than 700 species of plant – almost half of the native flora of the British Isles – are found on road verges.