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Cut and collect trial - boosting biodiversity

We are fighting the climate and nature emergencies with some new equipment.

Cut and collect tractor equipment.

Cut and collect tractor equipment.
You may have seen some new machines cutting the grass recently. This 'cut and collect' equipment is essential to help boost wildflowers and pollinators, which in turn will provide a beautiful landscape to increase everyone's wellbeing. Not forgetting the 'ecosystem service' of slowing down rainwater thus helping with flood defence, and capturing pollutants from the air.

I thought we were supposed to stop cutting the grass to help nature?

Removal of grass clippings at the right time plays a major role in maintaining species-rich vegetation in parks and on verges, curbing the growth of vigorous plants that smother their neighbours and helping to reduce soil nutrient levels. It also removes the thatch of dead vegetation, exposing underlying soil and giving seeds room to germinate.

Cut less and cut later

The latest guidance from Plantlife recommends a two-cut management programme that allows flowers to complete their full lifecycle rather than being cut down in their prime before they can set seed. The less and later two-cut approach will replenish the seed bank, restore floral diversity and provide pollinator habitat across the county. On some of our sites we have been advised to do three cuts a year, with the extra one being in mid-July. This is to reduce the vigour of grass growth further and increase wildflowers long term.

Cut and collect - wildflowers.
We must maintain and enhance biodiversity, and promote the resilience of ecosystems, under our corporate plan and Environment Act Section 6 Biodiversity Duty. This directly connects to the Resilient Wales Goal in the Wellbeing and Future Generation Act, with biodiversity being essential to increase capacity to adapt to climate change. We announced a Climate Emergency in 2019 and a Nature Emergency in November 2021:

This service has been partly funded by grants from the Welsh Government.

Welsh Government logo.

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