SOUTH Tyneside’s long grass is set for a trim – but it could be a growing concern again in the future.
Work is set to start in the weeks ahead to give grasslands across the borough their annual summer hay cut.
Residents have voiced their concerns in recent weeks due to overgrown grassed areas, and have urged the council to introduce a regular cutting schedule.
South Tyneside Council has confirmed a grass cut and collection programme will be carried out in the borough’s larger meadow areas.
The grass will be cut back and the hay bailed.
Last month, mum-of-two Jane Kirkham hit out over grass in Steward Crescent, South Shields, that was too long for her children to play in – forcing them to play football on the street.
Pensioner Walter Cue also called for regular grass cutting at Harton Downhill Local Nature Reserve, known locally as Blackberry Hills, near his home in Hertford Avenue.
The council says the cuts will not only reduce the thickness of the grass, but will allow seeds to spread and keep nutrient levels low in the soil, which suppresses the coarse grasses.
This, in turn, encourages more of the meadow’s perennial flowers to bloom into colourful displays, helping to attract more bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects.
The council is working with local farmers, who will take the cut crop as hay bales for feed and bedding for their animals.
Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “Now that the ground nesting birds season has come to an end, we can get started on giving our large grasslands their summer trim as part of our meadows management programme.
“This will make our grasslands much more attractive as the wildflowers become more dominant on the landscape.”
Wildflower vegetation will be completely cut down and removed in the late autumn. A review will follow to inform next year’s approach to the wildflower meadows programme.