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Plans to encourage pollinators and wildlife in hedges and verges

Wirral Council promise to encourage pollinators and wildflowers along it’s hedges and verges in a Pollinators Action Plan and sites such as Plymyard Ave and Levers Causeway will be trialled for pollinator planting.

Within the plan, the main concern is to manage hedges and verges differently and make decisions which benefit pollinators such as bees, butterflies and beetles, so that we can better look after them and the borough’s unique coastal and countryside landscape.

The Cabinet member decision (which is subject to the usual call-in option) will see:

  • Mowing schedules reviewed yearly
  • New plantings are good for pollinators
  • A review on the use of herbicides and pesticides
  • A programme of pollinator events and activities at Wirral Parks
  • Promotion of ‘Bee Friendly’ information

So far, sites such as Lever Causeway have already seen changes to the summer verge mowing to avoid cutting when umbellifers are in flower. Sites including Victoria Park, Landican Cemetery Baby Garden, Ashton Park and Wallasey Village all saw plantings with species that are good for pollinators and this will continue for all future plantings.

Cllr Liz Grey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change says: “I am so pleased that the importance of pollinators and wildlife is being recognised for the borough’s eco system, our landscape and the environment.

“This plan will ensure that pollinators are looked after and protected in the face of Climate Emergency.”

The use of Glyphosate in Parks & Countryside sites such as parks, playgrounds and cemeteries is now limited. A trial, using manual methods, started in December 2019 and is will be reviewed in 2020. The results of this trial will review the impact of 12 months of no glyphosate and help shape long term future action.

Cllr Grey continues: “I am keen to see the development of our long-term plan for hedges and verges from the trials that we are carrying out for alternatives to Glyphosate and pollinator planting.

“I am confident that we will reach an outcome that will be both beneficial for our wildlife and pollinators and the residents of the borough.”

Wirral Lowland Heaths Seminar in March 2020 will also help highlight benefits of the Borough’s lowland heaths for pollinators.

The Pollinator Action Plan forms a response to the declaration of Climate Emergency and a motion that was passed by Council to investigate the maintenance of grass verges and exploring alternatives to herbicide, glyphosate, in July 2019.

It will be reviewed through its five-year lifespan, barriers and challenges identified can therefore be addressed.

The creation of this Pollinator Action Plan was driven by the work of the Steering Group of the Parks & Countryside Partnership and Performance Board and continued engagement will be undertaken with the board, Friends Groups and Wirral Wildlife to carry out this plan.