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To cut or not to cut Eynsham’s grass? 9 Aug 2023 We’d like residents’ opinions on how we should approach our responsibilities for looking after public areas of grass.

Eynsham Parish Council is responsible for the maintenance of certain areas of grass within the village, including the play areas and most grass verges. We’d like to hear what you think about how we should do this over the coming year.

Up until now, the Parish Council has contracted grass cutting to a local landscaping company, with a focus on keeping most grass verges short and neat by regular trimming. The sections covered by our jurisdiction are cut monthly during the cutting season (currently from the end of March/beginning of April through to October), with the play areas cut more frequently.  This contract will soon be at an end and we need to decide what to do next.

We’ve heard from some residents that they’d prefer to see areas of grass left to grow long, with the grass cutting completed less frequently. We’d like to hear from more residents to find out how the community generally feels about this matter.

There are various reasons for cutting and not cutting. The ‘not cutting’ approach has gained momentum in recent years as part of general efforts to improve biodiversity and the sustainability of the natural environment. Some local councils have turned grass verges into wildflower meadows, in line with suggestions from nature charity Plantlife.

On the other hand, those who advocate for regular cutting and short grass may cite dangers for young children trying to cross the road. There are also people who feel leaving grass uncut makes the area look tatty and uncared for, which can impact their sense of pride in their home and even house prices. Importantly, we must be aware of sightlines at junctions to ensure safety on the roads.

We’d like to know what residents think about this issue to help inform our discussions. You can get involved by emailing your responses (with a subject line of Grass Cutting) to the following questions to

  1. Do you like the grass to be cut regularly to ensure it is short and neat in your area? [Yes/No/No preference – please also state which area you live]
  2. Do you like areas of grass to be more wildlife-friendly and left to grow longer before cutting? (For example, given a 'buzz cut for biodiversity', which is a cutting height of 6cm once a month, with the edges adjacent to footpaths cut shorter. Read more about this on charity Plantlife's website: [Yes/No/No preference]
  3. Do you have any general comments on grass cutting to share with the Council?

Responses to this will be accepted until 20 September, after which the matter will be discussed by our Councillors. We will explore the various options, considering the cost as well as the best interests of our environment and the preferences of our residents. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to please everyone with our decision, but we hope to find a solution that feels fair and will bring benefits to the village.

Updates on this matter will be shared on the website in due course.

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