AN extra £50,000 has been set aside for extra grass cutting in Dorset this year.

With summer on its way and a mild and wet spring causing rapid growth, Dorset County Council’s cabinet has earmarked the cash to increase the number of cuts of roadside verges wherever it can.

Currently, in towns, verges are cut six times a year between March and November and in rural areas they are cut twice, between April and October.

Cllr Peter Finney cabinet member for environment and the economy, said: “We have to balance timing the cuts with keeping verges tidy and safe for road users.

“In our towns a neater edge is preferred, where on rural roads we can encourage a more natural approach.

“There is a long term plan to form a ‘Living Verges’ partnership – working with the Dorset Wildlife Trust, parish and town councils to change the way highway vegetation is managed.

“We want to make it both more environmentally-friendly and financially-sustainable, but the cabinet recognises that we need to do more to respond to the concerns of communities.”