Rugby council to reduce grass cutting on 13 more sites to create urban meadows and boost wildlife

Boughton Road urban meadow. Image: Rugby Borough Council.
Boughton Road urban meadow. Image: Rugby Borough Council.

Rugby council is to create urban meadows in 13 more sites in the borough after last year's trial brought new species of plants, moths, butterflies and dragonflies to sites for the first time.

The council said it is taking a more 'pragmatic' approach to cutting grass in an effort to create urban meadows to benefit wildlife - adding that it will mow some areas only once a year.

Cllr Lisa Parker, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for the environment and public realm, said: “While regularly mowed areas of short grass are appropriate for roadside verges and parks, longer grass and meadow areas are better for the environment and support wildlife.

“On some of the sites we will leave longer grass around the edge of the site, while at other sites we will create larger grassland meadows with pathways cut through to follow footpaths and desire lines.

“We hope that this new approach will help support wildlife such as insects, bees and hedgehogs, many of which have had a hard time in our towns and cities in recent years.”

Changes to farming practice and increasing urbanisation have seen a 90 per cent reduction in Britain's wildflower meadows since 1945.

Urban meadows have gained popularity in recent years as a more environmentally friendly, and sometimes cheaper, way to manage green areas in towns and cities.

Advocates argue that, although completely traditional meadows cannot be created quickly, urban meadows can become rich with plant and animal life.

Rugby council said an interim survey at one of its urban meadow trial sites found the following species already becoming established: Meadow Vetchling, Tares, Sow-thistles, Prickly Lettuce, Meadow-sweet, Greater Burnet, Common Knapweed, Small Skipper, Marbled White, Burnet Moth, Meadow Browns, Ringlets, and Hawker dragonfly.

The urban meadows will be created on parts of sites at:

• Apple Grove Open Space
• Avon Mill Recreation Ground (banks)
• Boughton Road (including Flood basin)
• Eden Road
• Cawston
• Hillmorton Recreation Ground
• Yates Ave/Fosterd Road
• Burnside
• Rokeby Open Space
• Shakespeare Gardens
• Dunchurch Road/Kingsway
• The Heath, Dunchurch
• Newbold Recreation Ground

Click here for more information on the urban meadows sites, and how they will be managed.