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Grass cutting

Report overgrown grass in a park or public place

Before you report, please note:

Reduced grass cutting in response to the climate and ecological emergency

We declared a climate and ecological emergency in 2019. Part of our response to this is to trial changes to the way some green spaces are managed across the BCP area. This helps us develop sustainable policies and procedures as we work to tackle climate change and improve conditions for wildlife, while ensuring important areas are kept safe and tidy.


Selected larger areas of grass are not cut, and others cut less frequently.

  • Edges of meadows are cut where needed.
  • Informal footpaths, picnic areas and recreation areas may also be cut in larger meadows.
  • Meadows are cut in late summer or early autumn.
  • In most areas, clippings are removed from the surface.

Benefits of meadows

  • Meadows attract and support a range of species, including important pollinators such as bees, hoverflies, beetles and moths, which have suffered widespread decline in recent years.
  • Carbon sequestration – the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon – can be increased in grassland, as carbon is stored in roots and organic matter in the soil.
  • When we allow flowers to bloom and grasses to grow tall, it creates a variety of colours and textures. Less common plants such as bee orchids and oxeye daisies have the chance to flower and reproduce.

Low fire risk

The risk of fire is extremely low compared to the significant benefits of allowing grass areas to grow.


It’s difficult to tell whether hayfever symptoms are made worse because of areas of uncut grass – high pollen levels are the result of pollen being released from many different plant species, including trees and garden plants.

Ticks and snakes

Ticks live in some areas of long grass, heath and woodland. It’s always a good idea to check yourself and your pets if you have been walking in any of these areas.

There are only three native species of snake in the UK, and the adder is the only one that is venomous. Adders are rarely seen away from the heathlands in the BCP area. They are wary of humans and will often move away from anyone approaching when they feel vibrations in the ground.

Impact on local wildlife

  • The life cycle of many plants and insects occurs in the core summer months. Cutting after this time will not have a detrimental effect on the diversity of these species.
  • Most of the trial areas are near denser vegetation, such as hedgerows – these can be used as shelter by some animals while the meadows are cut.
  • Leaving the grass uncut at the trial areas over the summer will have a much more beneficial effect on wildlife than keeping the grass short throughout the year.

Ongoing review

We continue to monitor and survey our meadows. This provides important information to help shape future policies that protect and enhance our environment. Further changes to grassland management may be trialled in the future based on what we learn, and the availability of resources. 

It is unclear at this stage whether the trials will save money. However, the trial does offer clear environmental benefits. We are committed to exploring new ways of working so that our services are both economically and environmentally sustainable.

If you would like to contact us about the meadows or grass cutting in general please use our online service or call 01202 123432.


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