Monmouthshire County Council’s decision last year to adopt a Pollinator Policy was a major step forward for the wildflowers, bees and other pollinators. The county-wide displays of wildflowers were admired by everyone and were a major step forward.
There is still some way to go, however, before the Council’s plan is fully implemented. Part of the plan was to change their cutting regime so verges were cut just twice a year at the appropriate time, in order to allow wild flowers to establish and seed (with the obvious exceptions where safety was a concern).
Bee Friendly Monmouth has been monitoring this and, as far as they can tell, one year on from the implementation of the policy there has been only a 4% reduction in such verge cutting, and in many places the old regime has just continued as before.
To comply fully with their own Pollinator Policy, in the coming year Bee Friendly Monmouthshire wants the Council to –
- Aim for a reduction of at least 20% in verge cutting
- Make all verges a protected area
- Abolish all use of herbicides/pesticides on verges
Then we really will be on our way to a more bee-friendly county.
How You can Help
Get in touch with your County Councillor and ask them to ensure the verge cutting element of their Pollinator Policy is properly carried out. You can mention the three points above and explain that cutting verges at the appropriate times, allowing the wildflowers to flourish and seed first, is an important part of protecting the biodiversity of our countryside and improving bee populations.
Contact details for your Councillor can be found on the MCC web site.
You can use this Pro forma letter to Councillors if you wish (Word document)
There has been a dramatic decline in bee and other pollinator numbers in recent years, yet these insects are vital links in our food chain as well a maintaining the ecological balance. It is very important that the Council continues its good work in order to protect them.