Embrace a touch of the wild

I WRITE in response to Mike Stacey’s letter entitled ‘Grass badly needs a cut’ (Barry & District News, May 22).

Firstly, I’d like to thank Mr Stacey for describing Porthkerry Country Park as the ‘most lovely park in the area’. The Council’s Ranger team will appreciate that their hard work has not gone unnoticed. However, the letter refers to the grass in the main meadow needing a cut.

Sometimes at this time of year it’s not possible to take heavy mowers onto grass as its too wet, which means cutting can be delayed for a short time. Also a decision was taken last year to allow a substantial part of the meadow to grow and mature rather than be regularly cut short. Similarly, verges are only cut short where it is absolutely necessary.

By allowing the meadow to grow, visitors can enjoy the wild flowers, and it encourages visiting pollinating bees and insects, which increasingly struggle to find good foraging opportunities. The Council has also introduced new ponds at the edge of the meadow, which are now packed full of dragonflies and other wildlife. We pride ourselves on our contribution to the environment, and allowing the meadow to grow helps substantially.

Porthkerry is not meant to feel like an urban park; its attractiveness stems in part from its biodiversity and similarity to the countryside. In special places like this I firmly believe we shouldn’t aim for close cropped lawns everywhere, but embrace a touch of the wild.

Bob Guy

Operational Manager of Countryside and Economic Projects

Vale of Glamorgan Council

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