12/08/2023
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Long grass in public spaces sign of 'neglect', says councillor

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The chairman of Torridge District Council in Devon has said leaving grass to grow 60 cm presents a "Torridge-doesn't-care" image.

Doug Bushby claimed the public thinks council-owned parks and public spaces that are being left to nature are being neglected, while suggesting that better maintenance was required.


Doug Bushby claimed the public thinks public spaces that are being left to nature are being neglected (Roger Cornfoot).

Mr Bushby said he had "lots and lots of complaints" about the state of the Bideford Higher Cemetery, saying he thought it was "very disrespectful when the people go to their local cemetery and the grass is two feet tall".

He proposed a motion to ensure "parks and prominent public spaces are maintained to make them accessible to all at all times of the year", with wild areas being confined to land that are not as important to communities.

Peter Hames, climate change lead member and Green Party member, said he was alarmed by the motion, and the council had an obligation to increase biodiversity and subscribed to a nature recovery plan.

"I appreciate there is public concern over perception of tidiness, but, as you can see from other local authority areas up and down the country, they set off areas of long grass against mown areas and this is more acceptable."