If recent weather is anything to go by, we're in for a glorious summer.
Unfortunately, however, the austerity cuts that we're all experiencing continue to have a very negative impact on some of our public services. Those things our City Council used to organise for us without us really noticing have become painfully obvious for their infrequency. One of these is grass-cutting.
- Everyone understands the importance of picking up after their dog, but owners find this difficult to do when grass is several inches high.
- Tics love long grass and can spread diseases. You or your dog or cat are far more likely to pick up a tic in long grass.
- It's more difficult to pick up litter when it's hidden in long grass, where it does unseen and long-term damage to the ground underneath.
- We want our children to play safely outdoors. If the long grass conceals dog mess, tics and rubbish it's not safe.
- And it looks a mess.
I was pretty sure this wasn't the case (in fact, a resident raised the matter at a recent meeting of Orton Longueville Parish Council and a representative of AMEY, the company contracted by Peterborough City Council to cut the grass, confirmed that the reduction in grass cuts around the city has got nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with saving money).
To give you the right information, I asked Peterborough Green Party Coordinator Roger Proudfoot whether it's true that overgrown verges and recreation fields make for good habitats where nature will thrive.
Read more in Roger's Peterborough Telegraph articles Greener Spaces for People and Wildlife and Let's Aim for the Best of Both Worlds.
|Peterborough Green Party's Roger Proudfoot|
He knows the difference between 'grassland' and 'uncut grass'.
|This is what a wild flower meadow can look like.|
|Whereas this is what un-managed, un-cut grass in Orton Goldhay looks like.|
(Picture credit: Orton Goldhay resident Dermot O'Shea)
Update 9th July 2016
Following what can only be described as a 'public outcry' and a classic front page headline in the Peterborough Telegraph (I wonder how long the editor has been sitting on that one), Peterborough City Council has issued a statement in which it says that the grass cutting policy for Peterborough will be reviewed. That's fair enough. The statement also mentions several areas in our city (none in Orton - boo!) that have been identified as 'biodiversity areas'. These are managed as such and are subject to a different cutting regime. Unsurprisingly, we like this a lot, but why are there no biodiversity areas in Orton where the infrequency of grass cuts recently has made residents so happy? Do you know what, I'm going to ask.