THE COUNTY’s grass cutting programme has finished for the year with more than 8,000 km of grass being chopped – the equivalent distance from Worcestershire to Brazil.
The county has more than 6million metres of rural verges and in excess of 320,000m2 of central reservations in place across the county.
A new cutting regime has been in place since 2016, which helps to keep roads visible for motorists but also provides a safe space for wildlife too.
The council changed the way it cut grass on central reservations last year, cutting less to make the area more friendly and protected for pollinators.
When the visibility splays and road junctions are cut back, only one metre or two metres of grass is now cut back from the carriageway, leaving significant uncut areas available for wildlife.
Coun Alan Amos, cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “Although our primary duty with regards to roadside verges is one of safety, we have made a pledge to support the recovery of pollinator populations within Worcestershire and this includes the way we now manage the sites.
‘’There are 37 roadside verge Nature Reserves designated for rare or special species and habitats across our county and all sites now receive a bespoke approach to ensure protected or rare species are fully considered when it comes to maintenance.”
Worcestershire County Council has become pollinator friendly to promote the protection of pollinating insects and their habitat.
Dual carriageway verges offer important linear networks for pollinators. Often referred to as ‘Bee Lines’, they connect previously isolated areas of ecological interest.
During the summer months, the roadsides grow very quickly and there is a statutory duty to maintain them and to make sure the road network is safe.
However, the changes implemented over the past six years have seen significant improvement to biodiversity opportunities on Worcestershire’s network.