Cllr. Jodie Neary calls for the ‘wilding’ of green spaces

Social Democrats Councillor Jodie Neary has called on Wicklow County Council to implement a ‘no-mow’ policy on grass cutting in public green spaces and calls on the Council to follow in Dublin City Council’s footsteps by initiating a ‘wilding’ policy which has seen an unprecedented amount of wildflowers blooming in the city.  

Cllr. Neary says “many of us are seeing the benefits of Wicklow in bloom as grass cutting has stopped due to COVID-19 restrictions. Whether it’s on a roadside verge, in the park or in our own gardens, it is clear more bees and other pollinators are enjoying the increased growth in our green spaces. We need to continue this as restrictions are lifted in the future.

“I want to see Wicklow continue to bloom for the benefit of our local biodiversity and I have asked the Head of Planning and Environment Services in Wicklow County Council to look into whether a ‘no-mow’ policy can be implemented here in Wicklow long term, following Dublin’s green footsteps of greater ‘wilding’ in local areas.   

“Simple changes in grass cutting practices can have major benefits to our local diversity and can be easily implemented. It would be great to see Wicklow Council integrate flagship roadside verges, wildflower meadows and native hedgerows as part of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan which Wicklow signed up to.

“The Social Democrats have a great policy on protecting biodiversity in Ireland which I would like to see implemented in Wicklow. This includes prioritising the planting of trees and flowers in existing and new developments and on our streets in built up areas. I look forward to working with other Councillors as part of the Climate & Biodiversity Strategic Policy Committee in developing policies like these. We are working hard behind the scenes until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and we can officially reconvene.   

Wicklow County Council was the first local authority in Ireland to declare a biodiversity and climate-change emergency and can be a natural leader on this issue by developing policies that are at the forefront of protecting biodiversity in the current climate emergency” concludes Cllr. Neary.

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