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Wildlife Set To Benefit Across Poole

Borough of Poole is supporting local wildlife by changing its management of some grass areas across the town creating a richer, more diverse environment.

The council already manages a number of wildflower meadows in Poole, such as those within local nature reserves, but is now going a step further.

Uncut grass verges

Several road verges and public land within the borough will be left uncut during the summer enabling important grasses and wildflowers to grow, providing a valuable food source for seriously diminishing pollinators such as bees and butterflies. These uncut areas will also provide seeds for birds and shelter for small mammals and other animals.

Many populations of bees and other pollinators are in steep decline. Globally this is seen as a threat to biodiversity, long-term food security and ultimately human health. Borough of Poole understands the seriousness of this situation and is committed to playing a part in reducing this decline where possible.

The charity 'Plantlife' are campaigning for councils to manage their road side verges, particularly with wildflowers in mind. This campaign has been endorsed by Alan Titchmarsh, who is launching the 'Alan Challenge', a guide to good road verge management.

Areas in Poole where grass will be left uncut include:

*    Parts of Sterte Esplanade
*    Blake Dene Open Space, Lilliput
*    Parts of Selkirk Close Open Space
*    Sections of Sopwith Cresent, Merley
*    The sloped bank at Seldown Park
*    Parts of Parkway in Canford Heath
*    Both slow lanes of Upton Bypass
*    Areas within Poole and Parkstone Cemeteries and part of St Michaels churchyard, Hamworthy

The central reservations of Upton Bypass, Holes Bay Road, Canford Way, Dorset Way, Ringwood Road (Alderney) and parts of Waterloo Road will still have sight lines cut.

Mowing will only take place once the flowers have set seed. This approach means that Borough of Poole will have fulfilled the 'Alan Challenge' for good road verge management.

Borough of Poole first trialed this change to its maintenance programme in a number of areas across Poole last summer. Supported by Continental Landscapes Ltd, the trials were met with mixed views. However, many residents understood the importance of the trials and its value for both people and wildlife.

Councillor Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for a Prosperous and Sustainable Poole, Borough of Poole, said: "As elected members representing local residents we take our responsibilities for the natural environment very seriously and fully support this project. We are delighted to be working in partnership with charities such as 'Plantlife' to promote the re-colonisation of areas of Poole with suitable natural flora that are so important.

"By changing the way that some of our grass lands are managed, the variety of wildlife will certainly increase which has a long-term positive impact on our natural environment which we hope will be appreciated by all our local residents."

More information on the meadow areas can be found at boroughofpoole.com/grassmeadows.