Rugby councillors vote to bring more bees to the town - here's how it's going to be done

Councillors stressed the new policy is not a cost-cutting measure

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Councillors are buzzing over a new policy to be brought in by Rugby Borough Council in support of its green space strategy.

Members at this week’s (March 1) cabinet meeting voted unanimously in favour of adopting the pollinator friendly policy which includes a programme of work that will help protect and enhance biodiversity across the borough.

Cllr Howard Roberts (Con, Dunsmore), the environment and public realm portfolio holder, said: “This is a major piece of policy work to make sure we keep an adequate stock of bees in the borough by giving them hospitable places to live.”

Five key priorities were outlined in a report considered by councillors and these included encouraging parish councils to be pollinator-friendly and providing educational material to support the Pollinator Friendly RugBEE initiative.

The policy includes an operational plan highlighting locations where traditionally cut grass areas could be transformed into grassland, seeded wildflower meadows, or appropriate for tree planting.

Councillors were told that such steps would bring a range of community benefits with the meadows providing and supporting a far greater range of habitats and a valuable source of nectar for pollinating insects.

Further benefits include reduced fuel consumption - and a reduced carbon footprint - from reduced mowing, meadows would help slow stormwater run-off and reduce flooding, and a green corridor through Rugby would improve habitat for birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

The report added: “It should be noted that the grass mowing reduction element is not driven by a need to save budget.

“If the meadows are managed properly, litter-picked and have a regular cut front edge followed by a cut and lift of the grass at the end of the season, the cost savings are minimal.

"However there is some staff capacity release that can be reutilised in helping maintain other areas of Rugby.”

Cabinet had been due to consider adopting a tree policy following consultation with groups including The Woodland Trust and the council’s own climate change working group but the matter was held over until the next meeting at the end of March.