A NEW pilot project is underway across Carmarthenshire to encourage native flowers to grow and to provide food for pollinators.
Carmarthenshire County Council received funding under Welsh Government’s Local Places for Nature programme as part of a pilot project to trial new ways of managing our green spaces.
The project does not include planting or seeding wildflowers, but instead involves a change of management to encourage the native seed bank of flowering plants to flourish without introducing non-native species.
It means cutting the grass in these areas a bit less often, cutting it a bit higher and removing the grass clippings.
The Welsh Government funding was used to buy two ‘cut and collect’ mowing machines to remove the cut grass instead of leaving it on the ground, which will over time encourage more flowering plants in the grassland.
And by cutting it a bit less often should allow short-flowering plants to complete their full flowering cycle and increase the nectar available to insects.
The pilot is being carried out in 31 areas across the county, including 13 housing sites, six sheltered complexes, four sites within estates, and eight other sites which are managed by the council’s grounds maintenance team.
Some areas will be cut as normal where they are regularly used by residents and all path edges will be cut regularly. Signs have been put in place to explain what the council is doing, and officers will be monitoring these areas for biodiversity benefit.
The council is hoping to work with local residents to help with monitoring the sites and is planning to involve local schools.
Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Decarbonisation and Sustainability Cllr Aled Vaughan Owen said:
“Carmarthenshire County Council has a responsibility to address the nature and climate emergencies and is committed to protect, conserve and enhance our natural environment and help pollinating insects where we can. It is important to make sure we strike the correct balance between having places to enjoy and play and allowing nature to thrive. We have a lot to learn as part of this pilot, and we will be regularly reviewing it, and listening to the feedback of residents. But as well as helping pollinators on a local level, we hope this project will ultimately provide better quality green space where people live, work and learn.”