Residents in Southwold and Saxmundham will be asked to help identify areas in their communities which could become wildlife havens, as part of a trial scheme to help increase bio-diversity in East Suffolk.
On Tuesday 3 September, East Suffolk Council’s Cabinet agreed to two trial schemes, in Southwold and Saxmundham, which will see reduced grass cutting and strimming during 2020.
Residents in both towns are invited to suggest open spaces, owned by East Suffolk Council, which they feel would benefit from less intensive grass cutting and which could then become bio-diversity areas.
At present, grass in public open spaces across the district is cut four times each year, between March and October.
In response to the wishes of residents and as part of its focus on environmental issues, the Council is now reviewing its grounds maintenance programme, aiming to make it more environmentally-friendly. Reduced grass cutting and strimming in specific areas not only creates spaces for wildlife but also reduces carbon emissions.
Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for the Environment, said:
“It is imperative that we take responsibility for the protection of our natural environment. We know our residents are keen for us to create more spaces where wildlife can thrive and we would now like people to suggest the best areas for this to happen.
Public safety is paramount and we will continue to maintain roadside verges to ensure visibility, as well as maintaining council-owned parks and sports areas.”
The trials in Southwold and Saxmundham will be evaluated by East Suffolk Council, East Suffolk Norse, expert bodies, the respective Town Councils and the community. It is hoped that the results will then determine a more environmentally focused grounds maintenance programme which can be rolled out across the whole of East Suffolk.