A NUMBER of roadside verges and other public land in Poole will be left uncut during the summer months in a bid to reverse the decline in bees and butterflies.

The charity Plantlife insists important grasses and wildflowers are needed to sustain these diminishing pollinators and that globally their demise represents a serious threat to biodiversity and long-term food security.

Cllr Xena Dion, Borough of Poole cabinet portfolio holder for a prosperous and sustainable Poole, said: “By changing the way some of our grasslands are managed, the variety of wildlife will certainly increase, which has a long-term positive impact on our natural environment which we hope will be appreciated by all our local residents.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with charities such as Plantlife to promote the re-colonisation of areas of Poole with suitable natural flora that are so important.”

The areas in Poole where grass will be left uncut include:

  • Parts of Sterte Esplanade;
  • Blake Dene open space, Lilliput;
  • Parts of Selkirk Close open space;
  • Sections of Sopwith Crescent, Merley;
  • The sloped bank at Seldown Park;
  • Parts of Parkway in Canford Heath;
  • Both slow lanes of the Upton Bypass;
  • Areas within Poole and Parkstone Cemeteries and part of St Michael’s Church churchyard, Hamworthy.

The central reservation along the Upton Bypass, Holes Bay Road, Canford Way, Dorset Way and parts of Ringwood Road and Waterloo Road will still have sight lines cut.

The borough first implemented this change to its maintenance programme over the course of last summer, and it was met with mixed reviews.

Cllr Dion said: “As elected members representing local residents we take our responsibilities for the natural environment very seriously.”

Services set to suffer

A RAFT of council services look likely to suffer over the next two years as more government funding cuts start to bite, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.

Latest LGA research suggests the impact of spending reductions will “start to become increasingly visible” as local authorities tackle a further £10billon cut in government funding.

Popular services such as leisure services, children’s centres and road repairs are likely to bear the brunt of the cuts, says the LGA.

LGA vice-chairman Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson explained: “It is testament to councils’ resilience that many people have noticed relatively little difference in most of their local services over the past three years.

“Faced with the biggest cuts in living memory, councils have restructured and shared services where it has been possible and have made the most efficient part of the public sector even more efficient.

“However, efficiency savings cannot be remade and we are reaching the end of the road.”