North Hertfordshire set for summer meadows in new biodiversity project

An grassy area of Letchworth which will become wild meadow this summer. Picture: NHDC

An grassy area of Letchworth which will become wild meadow this summer. Picture: NHDC - Credit: Archant

North Hertfordshire towns are set to become more biodiversity rich this summer, as part of a new trial increasing the number of wild meadows in the district.

Prompted by feedback from residents asking to have more meadow areas, the district council will not be mowing a selection of grass covered areas during the summer.

The trial sites include:

• A large grassy area between Letchworth Gate and Waysbrook, Letchworth

• Grass areas between the new football pitches at Walsworth Common, Hitchin

• Grass patches around the edge of Baldock Road Recreation Ground, Baldock

These wild grassy areas will provide new habitats where local insects, mammals and birds can find food and shelter.

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The grass will not be cut during the summer months and will be allowed to grow wild, allowing any naturally occurring wildflowers to bloom. The wild areas will be mowed in late August/early September, which will allow any wildflowers to set seed for next year.

Prior to cutting, the sites will be monitored by the Countryside Management Service to identify any plants that appear which are of value to biodiversity.

Cllr Steve Jarvis, NHDC’s executive member for environment said: “We’ve listened to local residents who have been really keen to see us trial wild meadow areas like these in the district.

“Results of the trials will be fed into the Council’s Greenspace Management Strategy starting in 2021, which will identify how this idea, if successful, can progress in the future.”