Trimming row reveals how Calderdale Council makes a decision on cutting long grass

Resident Kath Anderton s picture of the grass patch near her home
Resident Kath Anderton s picture of the grass patch near her home

The frequency of grass cutting throughout Calderdale has been revealed following a resident’s request about when an area near her home will be trimmed.

Kath Anderton has asked the council when land maintained by the authority at Whitwell Green Lane, Elland, behind her Whitwell Drive home will be cut.

Last year Kath complained to the council when it had not been cut heading into June when it was nearly five feet high.

With seed heads in full bloom it caused problems for her son Edward who has hay fever and would affect anyone with the same condition, she said.

It also raised problems of access and she has written to the council again this year to raise concerns.

Together Housing had already cut a section of grass on land it owned nearby, she said in her letter.

“We really do not want a repeat of last year, where by the time you cut the grass, it was nearly five feet high and was almost impossible to walk through, not to mention the fact that it was causing health problems,” she said.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, Coun Susan Press (Lab, Todmorden), said the grass there was scheduled to be cut in July and would be cut again in October after the end of the summer.

She also explained what cutting policy was through the borough.

Some grass was deliberately left long to help biodiversity and add some wildflower splashes of colour to Calderdale’s landscape, she said.

Coun Press said the council maintains more than 120 sports pitches and playing fields, 26 parks, 30 ornamental gardens and displays and around 120 play areas, as well as looking after many other public areas, open spaces, school grounds and highway verges.

“The grassed area off Whitwell Green Lane in Elland is currently scheduled to be cut during the first week in July, depending on weather conditions.

“The second cut of the year is planned for October,” she said.

Coun Press said the frequency of grass cutting was both weather and resource dependent, varying from year to year and some deliberately largely left to encourage wildflowers.

“A small number of our ornamental garden sites are cut weekly, but generally sites are cut between 10 and 12 times a year.

“Other areas, such as the Whitwell Green Lane site, are cut once or twice a year.

“This promotes greater biodiversity than frequently cut grass and allows us to make the most of our resources,” she said.

Some places were only rarely cut for a reason, she went on to explain.

“A number of the sites which are just cut once a year are also part of our nationally recognised Corridors of Colour project, which uses wildflower seeds to bring welcome splashes of colour to otherwise unused pieces of land across Calderdale,” she said.