With councils across the country under increasing amounts of pressure to do more from already limited grounds maintenance budgets, the lessons learnt and savings gained in local government by replacing mowing with wildflower verges apply equally to property portfolios across the nation.
Council Grounds Savings
Dorset County Council saves around £93,000 a year by only cutting rural road verges when needed, Burnley Borough Council estimates that it saves around £60,000 a year from cutting back on grass-cutting to help pollinators, and Monmouthshire County Council estimates that the saving made from a reduction in highway verge mowing is approximately £35,000 each year.
Dr Annabel King, Senior Ecologist at Dorset County Council said:
“We are very proud to be one of the first local authorities to produce and implement a pollinator action plan. The plan is specifically aimed at helping all pollinators – including bees, butterflies and moths, numbers of which have declined severely in the last 50 years.
“The plan has enabled us to make significant savings. We save around £93k a year by only cutting rural road verges when needed, allowing wildflowers and grasses to flower and set seed. We also never use topsoil when creating new road verges anymore, as subsoil results in wildflower-rich grass, which is of greater use to pollinators and costs less to manage. On the Weymouth Relief Road, this method has resulted in management costs of £500 per year – as opposed to an estimated £2,700 if the verges had been spread with topsoil.”