Letter to Editor: Green’s are on the verge in Harlow

News / Thu 31st Aug 2017 at 04:37pm

Dear Editor,

HAVING seen Cllr Churchill’s piece on your website (Harlow is really scruffy and it’s all labour’s fault, 28 August 2017) I wanted to respond to the claim that overgrown verges are not a ‘clean and green environment’.

While longer grass may not be aesthetically pleasing to Cllr Churchill, I hope he notes that they do have one key environmental benefit – that is, supporting our wildlife. As Cllr Churchill is hopefully aware, the bee population throughout the world is declining at a dramatic rate.

Reasons for this decline are well explored and include the use of neonicitionoid pesticides and loss of habitat. As towns and cities become more built up and become more obsessed with cutting long grass, our bees, butterflies and other pollinators lose vital areas where they can live and forage. Friends of the Earth report that since the second world war, the UK has lost 97% of our wildflower meadows.

Bees and other pollinators are vital for us and their decline is of real concern. A large portion of the food we eat relies on pollinated crops (from the foods themselves to the foods livestock eat) and as we continue to lose more parts of our bee population, we will struggle to provide for ourselves.

With this in mind, we welcome more long grass throughout the town, following in the footsteps of other councils throughout the UK, including in Devon and Cornwall. By allowing the grass to grow longer, we can ensure that bees and other pollinators have areas to forage, helping them survive as a result. This is also something people can replicate in their gardens and we hope Cllr Churchill will consider planting some wildflowers and other bee friendly plants like lavender himself.

James Aicken
Harlow Green Party.

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