06:00PM, Tuesday 15 June 2021
A decision to leave grassy areas untrimmed to help wildlife has been met with mixed feelings by residents in the borough.
A multitude of comments have been made by residents across social media who have noticed that grass had not been trimmed in Desborough, Ockwells and Boyn Grove parks, as well as many grass verges.
Though some residents are under the impression that this is the tail end of ‘No Mow May’ – a national scheme to create a more wildlife friendly areas – this is actually part of the Royal Borough’s specific mowing scheme.
It is looking to increase the number of verges that will only be mowed twice a year to allow wildflowers to thrive, supporting insects and promoting biodiversity.
Currently, eight verges in Maidenhead have been chosen as a trial for these ‘roadside reserves.’
These verges will not receive any treatment other than an adjustment to the cutting in early spring and late summer.
The maintenance will be reviewed depending on the variety of plant communities that emerge.
Signs saying ‘Growing Wild - do not mow’ will be placed on the verges to highlight the change in maintenance to both residents and the council’s contractors.
The verges chosen for the trial scheme are: A4/Bath Road (Boyn Hill – behind school), Harvest Hill Road, Shoppenhangers Road, Waltham Road (White Waltham), Dean Lane (Cookham), Warren Row Road (Knowl Hill), Harrow Lane & Queensway (Furze Platt) and Ockwells Road (Cox Green).
However, residents have noticed some verges other than these have been left overgrown.
“We have been quite relaxed with our mowing regime – sometimes it’s good just to take the temperature of residents’ reactions,” said Councillor Donna Stimson, the Royal Borough’s lead member for climate change, sustainability, parks and countryside.
“We are always having to balance two radically different views but far fewer people are bothered by (the long grass) now.”
Some residents have raised concerns that long grass is obstructing the line of sight at junctions – such as Pinkneys Road turning onto Pinkneys Drive near the cricket club.
“We do need to be careful there – it is dangerous to not mow where (drivers) are coming out of a junction,” said Cllr Stimson.
The highways team is currently on the look out for grass obscuring visibility. Residents can use the ‘report it’ function on the council’s website to flag up such verges.
Residents can also let the council know if there are particular verges that should be left alone because they are encouraging rare wildlife – for example, a bee orchid has been spotted at the top of Shoppenhangers Road.
To report a problem with a grass verge, go to www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/transport-and-streets/report-problem-grass-cutting
The race to get as many people vaccinated against coronavirus has ramped up in the Royal Borough and Slough amidst an ongoing rise in cases across the country.