As a volunteer with various wildlife projects, I am particularly noticing the obsessive mowing and strimming of road verges and green spaces around town this year.

Of course, footpath access needs to be kept safe, but close cuts more than half a metre width on each side are not often necessary.


Through lockdowns many people have realised how much they value nature for their physical and mental wellbeing, especially the variety and colours of wild flowers.

At the moment we could, for example, be enjoying swathes of yellow buttercups, but instead we have cropped, muddy grass.

Flowers are cut before they have a chance to set seed to grow the following year.

Herefordshire Council has declared an Ecological Emergency as well as a Climate Emergency, so this should mean paying much greater attention to conserving biodiversity and avoiding extinctions across a wide range of habitats.

Some of the mowing workforce could be diverted to other more useful jobs, such as litter-picking and clearing gutters.

Litter and other forms of pollution are a major harm to wildlife and blocked drainage increases flood risk. Please can we have more joined-up thinking to allow our wildlife to prosper?

Dr Nichola Geeson


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