More sites to be left for nature to bloom

Posted on: Thursday 16 February 2023
Before and after Texaco

Cabinet members have agreed to increase the number of sustainably managed grassland sites in Torfaen to increase local biodiversity and help tackle climate change.  

The borough currently has more than 120 areas where routine mowing has been reduced and wildflowers are encouraged to grow.

Fifty-one new areas will be added to the annual cut and collect technique over the next two years, following consultation with local councillors and communities.

The cut and collect technique allows areas to grow throughout Spring and Summer months before being cut. By letting areas of grassland grow, more wildflowers are left to flower for longer, providing a habitat for wildlife and pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. Allowing plants to grow longer, bigger roots mean they store more carbon in the soil and help to tackle climate change. This also creates more air in the soil, helping reduce the impact of flooding.

New sites include nine in Blaeanvon; two in Coed Eva; seven in Croesyceiliog; one in Fairwater; one in Garndiffaith and Varteg; three in Griffithstown East; three in Lowland and Avondal; one in Llantarnum; seven in Llanyrafon; one in New Inn; one in Ponthir; one in Pontnewydd, three in Snatchwood; one in Southvill; two in St.Dials; three in Trevethin; two in Two Locks; one in Upper Cwmbran and two in Wainfelin.

Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for the Environment, said: “We are in a nature emergency, and now more than ever we must support our wildlife and our environment.

“Nature isn’t neat, which is why we will be making sure all of our existing and proposed sites will have clear signage to make sure that residents understand why these sires are being left to nature.

“The signage will have a QR code on it which will take people to the Council’s website which will explain more about how we manage nature in the borough.”

Veronika Brannovic, Local Nature Partnership Coordinator at Torfaen Council said: “The changes to mowing practices across the county borough have already shown that, even in small spaces, we can make a difference for wildlife and for wellbeing.

“We are seeing an increase in wildflowers, insects and other species and we are planning to expand the programme each year to maximise the benefits already seen and help to adapt to the effects of climate change”.

Welsh Government has prioritised nature recovery, committing to effectively and equitably managing 30% of land by 2030, and Torfaen’s revised approach to grass cutting will contribute to this national target.

Last May Climate Change Minister Julie James visited a cut and collect site in Torfaen. Read more about this visit.

Last Modified: 16/06/2023 Back to top