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‘Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow’: Climate change minister urges less cutting of verges and grasslands

22 May 2022 2 minute read
Minister for Climate Change Julie James visits Golf Road in New Inn for International Day of Biodiversity

Wales’ Climate Change Minister has urged less cutting of road verges and grasslands in order to create more native wildflower-rich meadows.

Speaking on the International Day of Biodiversity, Julie James said that one in six species assessed in Wales were at risk of extinction due to a loss of robust ecosystems which are essential to wellbeing.

Speaking on a visit to Golf Road in New Inn, Pontypool, where residents have embraced reduced mowing, Julie James said: “We are in a nature emergency and now, more than ever, we must support our precious wildlife and build more resilience to changes to our environment.

“Regularly mown grass may look tidy, but it has little benefit for nature. By simply changing these practices, we can help create a better habitat for all kinds of animals and insects while storing more carbon in our soils which will help mitigate against climate change.

“What the people of Golf Road have achieved is wonderful. Despite some initial nervousness, they have really stepped up to the challenge. It’s the kind of example we’d like to see followed across all parts of Wales.’’


Torfaen County Borough is home to more than 120 sites where routine mowing has been reduced and wildflowers encouraged to grow as the Welsh Government works with local authorities and communities to make road verges and grasslands more wildlife friendly through changing cutting practices.

Veronika Brannovic, Local Nature Partnership Coordinator at Torfaen County Borough Council said: “The changes to mowing practices across the county borough have already shown that, even in small spaces, we can make a difference for wildlife and for wellbeing.

“We are seeing an increase in wildflowers, insects and other species and we are planning to expand the programme each year to maximise the benefits already seen and help to adapt to the effects of climate change”.

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Richard 1
Richard 1
1 year ago

I was tempted to describe this progress as “glacial” until I reflected that glaciers are now going backwards. Close-run thing though; the Green Party in Powys was urging councils to reduce verge mowing in the 1980s!

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
1 year ago

No Mow May.

Sian Caiach
1 year ago

A good and sensible idea. Councils waste loads of money mowing verges and cutting back hedges etc in areas where it makes no difference to human activity but destroys biodiversity. Many home owners also waste their time and money creating super tidy lawns and ensuring every daisy flower is removed entirely. Yes, we should weigh up our instinct to control nature utterly against the needs of the planet and our wild plants and animal life.

Adam York
Adam York
1 year ago

Reduced mowing in residential areas versus non-organic arable and dairy farming impact.Be serious

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