CROYDON COMMENTARY: Back in June, we reported how the council’s parks contractor was struggling to fulfil its duties by keeping all the borough’s green spaces in good order through grass cutting. As we head into autumn, ALEC SELVON-BRUCE suggests that council cut-backs and fewer grass cuts might have some advantages
I am a regular user of the Purley Way playing fields.
I was very amused by the grass-cutting techniques of Croydon Council’s parks contractor, Quadron. I grew up on a farm, so was not averse to John Deere drying and grass cutting for annual hay-making. I suspected that Croydon’s grass-cutting this summer had been hampered either by mechanical failure or bad weather.
So, when after a week, the tractor failed to reappear, I thought that Quadron were seeing options for cash-making through the lucrative horse stables market.
I expected that by mid-July I would see a John Deere baling machine harvest the hay.
But over the weeks of July and into August the grass continued to grow into a lush English wildflower meadow. It looked like Quadron were trying to compete with the wildlife project in Roundshaw Downs, successfully managed by the Old Surrey Downs Project.
The diversity of clovers and wild grasses was most welcome. My wee Yorkie dog loved dancing through the long grasses.
Back in June when you reported this lack of cutting, one of your commenters, Austen Cooper, suggested that perhaps an austerity-inspired reduction in grass cutting, to manage road verges and green spaces to benefit wild flowers and other nature, could be a way forward. I support Austen on this.
By accident, Quadron contributed to a rich wildlife diversity project.
Now in October the football posts are back up and the grass is back to the usual levels.
In 2017, I’d like to see this accidental wildlife management scheme continue.
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