Home   News   Article

Council says 'no way' to No Mow May plans over almost £350,000 cost

By Scott Maclennan

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
A colourful wildflower meadow created by a Highland road
A colourful wildflower meadow created by a Highland road

A bid by two Greens to get Highland Council to observe No Mow May – an environmental initiative not to cut lawns in that month – looks set to be shot down at the next full meeting of the local authority.

Kate Willis and Andrew Baldrey hoped to persuade the council to take part in Plantlife’s campaign by suggesting that it could “save the council’s limited financial and staff resources".

But the proposals, rather than being cheaper, were found to be much more expensive after the corporate resources committee costed them and found that it would add a huge bill to the cash-strapped council’s budget.

It was estimated the council would be £348,240 out of pocket because of the need for “specialist mowers and the cost of dealing with waste arisings".

The original motion stated: “To encourage biodiversity and address the nature emergency, and to save the council’s limited financial and staff resources, this council agrees to support Plantlife’s ‘No Mow May’ campaign by publicising it and by not cutting verges and other green spaces until later in the year, except where it is necessary for public and road user safety.”

It was sent – like all motions with cost implications – to the corporate resources committee to make sure it was affordable and will now return to the next full meeting of Highland Council for a final decision.

Technically the body could agree to proceed but with overspends already forecast running into the million for this financial year it is unlikely that alternative savings could be found to offset the cost.

The point of No Mow May is to help bees and other pollinators which according to the UK government’s Department for the Environment are “under threat from habitat loss, invasive species, pests and disease and climate change.”

The department’s advice to “let your garden grow wild” and “cut your grass less often” basically underlines why so many like Councillors Willis and Baldrey support No Mow May.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More