Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Watching the grass grow...

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's countryside wardens have been watching the grass grow in Saltburn Valley Garden - to encourage new habitats. Regular visitors to the Gardens could be forgiven for thinking that the grass cutting has not been up to its usual high standards, but it's a deliberate policy on sections of Camp Bank, near to the Woodland Centre and the beck-sides through the Valley. The Council's Cabinet Member for Rural Affairs Councillor Graham Jeffery explained: "The cutting has not been done very well in places and areas have been left to grow wild, but it has been part of a long-term plan to create new habitats. This is a long-term plan and will take a few years to have any positive effect but creating new habitats is always a good thing for wildlife." Camp Bank has been left to grow all summer with the hope of creating a new wildflower meadow. Now it has been cut by the Valley Garden volunteers and all the plants have seeded. All the cuttings were raked from the area to prevent enrichment of the soil, which would prove less favourable for the wild flowers. A survey of the vegetation was carried out prior to strimming and will be carried out over the next few years to see if the new cutting regime has had any effect on the species present. The beck sides have been left to encourage water voles back into the area – they favour the extra cover that unmown areas provide.

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