With spring just around the corner, Wokingham Borough Council’s grass cutting contractors are getting out for their first cut of 2017.
Following the introduction to a new way of working last year, Wokingham Borough Council is confident residents will not experience a repeat of the issues encountered again. The council worked last year with new contractor ISS Facility Services on an innovative way of working that focusses on maintaining the grass areas that are most important to residents while keeping costs to an affordable level within the council’s ever-tightening budgets.
The contract means:
- We no longer have the rigid grass cutting schedule that saw all grass cut a set number of times a year regardless of how important it was to local people. The new contract allows for flexibility so that our contractors can cut important areas more often
- We will further develop wild flower meadows as the contract develops
- We will leave some areas of larger parks uncut in order to create natural homes for bugs, bees and birds to thrive. We need these areas to meet our biodiversity aspirations but we also believe that, with wide paths cut through them, they make an attractive addition to our parks
Last year, things did not go as smoothly as planned. Grass was initially left too long in many residential areas and it took a while to catch-up with the initial problems. By the end of the cutting season, the council’s contractors were maintaining grass verges and urban grassy areas as required. This standard will be maintained this year.
Executive member for environment Cllr Angus Ross said: "Our contractors were thrown in at the deep end last year with little time to prepare or plan for the new way of doing things, but that’s not the case now and we are confident that there will not be a repeat of those issues.
"Where the grass was cut short by the end of last year’s cutting season, it will be maintained at that length.
"I am also delighted that we have added some extra Wildflower Meadows this season to bring more splashes of colour across the borough."
The additional wildflower meadows this year will be at:
- Riverside Park – Lower Earley (off Mill Lane)
- Burnmoor Meadows – Finchampstead (off Longwater Lane)
- Ashenbury expansion – Woodley (off Denmark Avenue)
- Plus other smaller areas