We've removed grass to create nature-friendly zones
We've removed grass on a number of verges across the borough to make these into nature-friendly zones.
It will take around 2 years for the nature-friendly zones to grow a green matt and some colourful flowers. We planted seeds on the verges in June and July 2019 so you may begin to see flowers and wildlife in the zones by August 2021.
Nature-friendly zones are areas where flowers packed with pollen and nectar are planted to create natural corridors for bees and insects. They allow entire ecosystems to flourish by providing bees and insects with shelter and somewhere to hunt, feed and breed.
Which areas are being improved with nature-friendly zones?
Hundreds of different grass verges across the borough are being improved. We've a total of 500,000 square metres of grass verges which we'll be turning into nature-friendly space. This is the equivalent of 100 football pitches.
We'll be placing signs in the new nature-friendly zones so you can identify them.
Why are we creating nature-friendly zones?
We're creating nature-friendly zones because:
- According to the Royal Horticulture Society, 97% of wildflower meadows in the UK have been lost since 1945 and one of the biggest problems for pollinators is a lack of flowering plants, especially those packed with pollen and nectar. It's therefore important we create new areas for flowers to grow.
- The European Commission says 10% of pollinating insects are on the verge of extinction, and a third of bee and butterfly species is declining. We hope these zones will increase the number of insects in the borough.
- The zones will create an attractive roadside environment whilst growing slower than wildflower meadows making it easier for us to manage and helping to keep costs down. .
When do we cut grass?
We aim to cut grass 14 times a year, every 2 to 3 weeks between March and October. We cut grass in nature-friendly zones twice a year.
We keep to this schedule when we can but we can't cut grass if it's wet or windy.
How do we cut grass?
Our team use large mowers to cut an open area of grass. It can take more than one day to complete. If needed, we return later to use smaller machinery to cut around trees and other obstacles.
We clear and collect grass cuttings that fall on public footpaths but we don’t collect grass from open areas.
Report a problem with grass cutting
If you've noticed a problem with an area where we cut grass, you can report this to us.
Where do we cut grass?
We cut the grass on all council-owned land, including:
- Roads and verges
- Parks and public open space
- Town centres
- Memorial gardens
- Sports pitches
Where don't we cut grass?
We don’t cut grass:
- On land that is privately owned.
- Where flowers have been planted. We don’t cut these areas until the flowers have been growing for 6 weeks.
- Where we're keeping the grass long to attract bees and increase the number of areas where bees can live in the borough. Bees naturally feed on the flowers made by long grasses and wildflowers. As bees are in danger of becoming extinct, we want to leave the landscape as friendly as possible for bees, butterflies and other pollinators where we can.
- On properties owned by RBH (Rochdale Boroughwide Housing). You should contact RBH if you live in one of their houses and have a question about cutting your grass.
- On properties owned by any other housing association or landlord. You should also speak to them directly if you've a question about cutting your grass.
View contact details for housing associations in the borough