Locals not happy to ‘let it grow’

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A Ballymoney councillor has claimed that a biodiversity campaign called ‘Don’t Mow, Let It Grow’ has attracted numerous complaints in the Greengage area.

Cllr Alan McLean, who lives in Greengage, said that the area is “not in good shape” with grass being cut once last year and then left lying.

The discussion came at Tuesday night’s meeting of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Leisure and Development Committee.

Members were asked to back an application for funding for the ‘Don’t Mow, Let It Grow’ scheme and to approve a match funding application from the Landfill Communities Fund.

The project will look at the conservation of semi-natural grassland.

Members heard that the scheme will look at different ways of managing semi-natural grasslands to promote how small changes in management can bring large benefits to biodiversity and ecosystems services.

The project will identify trial verges and amenity grassland sites in order to educate and promote the wider benefits to the public, carry out an economic appraisal, train land managers and volunteers, assess biodiversity and ecosystem services benefits.

Another Ballymoney Councillor Ian Stevenson proposed that members accept the recommendation but said while the ‘Don’t Mow’ project was working well at the “excellent” Riverside Park in the town, people in Greengage are not happy with grass being “let grow” there.

He added that it would be good to let councillors know exactly what areas were going to be ‘let grow’.

“Perhaps Roads Service have already adopted a policy of - cut it once and let it grow,” he joked.

Biodiversity Officer Rachel Bain said: “We will be very careful abut what sites we pick. The bank at Greengage Lane is brilliant for biodiversity and the idea is that it will be cut once a year.”

Cllr Alan McLean seconded Cllr Stevenson’s proposal but said that as a resident of Greengage Lane he was more than aware of the “numerous complaints” about the area.

“You have to say, it isn’t in good shape,” he added.

“There is great potential there. Lots of people walk it as part of the trim trail and the Riverside walk. It was cut last year but the grass was left lying.

“Hopefully this area will be looked at,” he concluded.

Members voted unanimously to proceed with the applications.