Falkirk Council: Still time to have your say on grass cutting pilot

A survey asking for people’s views on changes to grass cutting in Falkirk Council’s green spaces will close soon.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 16th May 2022, 6:19 pm

The council’s pilot scheme has targeted 35 areas – from parks to road verges – and involves cutting some areas less frequently and leaving others to grow more naturally.

The proposals have been controversial, with many people supporting the changes saying that the more natural areas are better for wildlife and are helping the council tackle the climate emergency.

However, others say the long grass is unsightly and brings with it such dangers as hidden dog mess and tick bites – and many suspect it is just another way to save money for the cash-strapped council.

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Falkirk Council's consultation on its grass cutting policy is due to end soon

Falkirk Council insists that all of these views will be taken into account once the consultation is finished and final recommendations are made.

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It approved the sustainable grass management pilot project last January and the consultation opened on May 25 last year. It will close on June 1 this year.

It is hoped that communities using the green spaces will be able to comment on where the new methods have worked and where any problems have been, helping understand where the grass needs to be kept short and where nature can thrive.

The council believes it can find a balance between keeping spaces that support wildlife and spaces that allow people to use parks and other green spaces without worrying.

The consultation states that greenspaces are “vital spaces for people; helping to support our physical and mental well-being”.

It adds: “Managed in the right way, [greenspaces] can also play an important part in our response to the global challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.”

The changes that have been seen across the district include: creating naturalised grass areas (cut once or twice a year, and sown with wildflowers in some locations); creating patches or strips of wildflower meadow; delaying or reducing the frequency of amenity grass cutting; planting bulbs and trees; and sowing meadow seed or wildflower seed.

While members of Falkirk Council were supportive of the project when it was introduced, they were also critical that not enough was being done to explain to the public why the changes were being made.