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Boosting biodiversity and wildflowers

Bridgend County Borough Council is seeking to boost wildflowers and improve local biodiversity by establishing zones which help increase the diversity of plants and wildlife.

Across the UK, councils are moving away from mowing roadside verges as frequently as they previously had, helping to increase biodiversity and save resources in the process.

While the local authority still has to cut at specific locations in order to provide clear lines of sight for drivers or to ensure that footpaths remain accessible, it is also maintaining hectares of open space in support of wildflowers.

It is now looking to identify further areas which can benefit from reduced grass-cutting.

The council’s director for communities Janine Nightingale said: “We manage our land to promote ecological diversity wherever possible, and this includes highway verges. For example, large parts of the embankments on the A4061 Bridgend Northern Distributer road are not cut, and our crews trim around cowslips and other wild flowers in the vicinity of the A4106 at Danygraig Hill.

“We have previously planted wildflowers along the cycle route between Brackla and Heol West Plas in Coity, and at the A4063 Sarn by-pass, we only cut the central reserve for reasons of driver safety at junctions.

“With large parts of the A473 Waterton and Coychurch by-pass also benefiting from a reduced grass-cutting regime, the council is seeking to develop and maintain a realistic balance.”