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No Mow May will continue in Medway next year

A council leader has faced questions over his plans to change No Mow May.

Medway's Cllr Alan Jarrett was quizzed over his authority's position on the national initiative after he made comments criticising the scheme.

An uncut verge on the A228 Halling. Picture: @whitcombetweets
An uncut verge on the A228 Halling. Picture: @whitcombetweets

The project encourages councils not to cut grass at parks and road verges for a month in order to spur on wildlife and biodiversity.

The Conservative leader previously said Medway will not proceed with the scheme next year in the same manner.

Changes will be made to prevent some of the issues which occurred this year such as drivers not being able to see road junctions clearly due to long grass.

During a meeting of the council last Thursday, he said he had met with Ian Dunn, the chief executive of Plantlife – the charity which runs the initiative – two weeks ago.

He said: "He told me unambiguously, when I met him at Ranscombe Farm, they do not promote No Mow May without other measures to accompany it and that's what we will be doing next year.

Medway Council supported No Mow May
Medway Council supported No Mow May
Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett
Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett

"There's more to biodiversity than long grass – the scheme was poorly thought out and poorly implemented as a result of that."

He went on to explain the scheme for next year will take into account factors including biodiversity, public amenity, road safety and hygiene.

He added: "We are taking our climate change responsibilities very seriously."

A petition calling on the council to retain the scheme with some alterations now has more than 180 signatures.

Almost 4,000 people voted in a KentOnline poll on No Mow May earlier this month.

Some 26% said it was more hassle than it was worth, 37% said it was a vital green project and 35% said it should continue differently.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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