East Suffolk Council would like to thank you and your communities for your understanding and support for Norse in their change in working practices due to the restrictions of Coronavirus. During the period of complete lockdown, East Suffolk Council had to re-train and allocate grounds maintenance crews to support with other essential services. They therefore only cut areas that presented a health and safety issue, making sure that road junctions were cut to ensure visibility and access to residents’ properties. Now that restrictions have started to ease and with some significant growth of grass, East Suffolk Council has an opportunity to manage some areas of open space differently with a focus on biodiversity. This is particularly the case in those areas where longer grass is beneficial to wildlife; they have seen some areas that have become havens for invertebrates and pollinators, and they would like to preserve these where they can.
East Suffolk Council will therefore take the following actions:
* They’ve identified 41 ‘conservation areas’, where they will aim to manage the land differently, and not cut until the end of the season. These areas have been chosen on the basis that a this change is likely to be uncontroversial for local residents, that it presents no safety issues, and that the space is at a scale that will provide an environmental benefit to wildlife. A list of Felixstowe areas can be seen below:
- Garrison Lane, Felixstowe (verges)
- Grove Road, Felixstowe (verges)
- Candlet Road, Felixstowe (verges)
- Cliff Road Car Park, Old Felixstowe
- Barden Close, Felixstowe (open space)
- Grange Farm Road, Felixstowe (open space)
* Their trial of managing grass more sustainably in certain churchyards has been well received, so they will move to do this permanently.
* All Other areas will be cut according to the normal grounds’ maintenance schedule (early Spring and Autumn).
In return East Suffolk Council asks if you could monitor these areas removing litter and making sure invasive plant species do not dominate the grasslands. East Suffolk Council is committed to promoting environmental sustainability and ensure responsible stewardship of their open spaces – the smallest of changes will have an impact over time.
Felixstowe Town Council’s Climate Emergency Group will be liaising with East Suffolk Council and considering any other areas that could be similarly managed as a conservation area and we would welcome suggestions at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.