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Aspire Landscape and Management biodiversity plans

Published: 14/05/2024
Aspire Landscape Management plaques

With the mowing season here again and the movement of 'No Mow May' we wanted to give you an update on how Ashford Borough Council's Aspire Landscape and Management team maintain the open spaces in the borough. 

As with previous years. we are not taking part in the blanket approach to No Mow Way, the national conservation initiative which encourages residents and councils to allow grass to grown unmown for the month of May, creating habitat and forage for early season pollinators.

Not mowing grass verges and other places can divide opinion and attract criticism. We carefully consider the scheme every year and our decision is based on the fact that this strategy will have little/no impact on long term improved biodiversity. In addition, not all areas are suitable for this approach, giving rise to complaints of poor visibility around junctions or nutrient rich soils in areas that struggle to support wild seed growth (they need nutrient depleted soils to flourish).

Instead we develop land management plans for all of the areas we maintain. This managed approach allows us to carry out long term changes to appropriate areas of land, in support of increasing biodiversity and connectivity for nature and people. This includes enhancements such as meadow creation, tree and hedgerow planting.

Our aim is to balance aesthetics, nature, residential use and engagement. The key to successfully initiating these changes is assessing land use and its functionality, determining suitable maintenance regimes and tailoring maintenance on a site by site basis.

You may have seen our pollinator signs which we put out on some of the sites and meadow areas where we have ceased mowing to support biodiversity. So keep an eye out if you see them across the borough.