Insects such as bees, butterflies and beetles are expected to thrive as a result of changes to the Council’s grassland management programme, aimed at helping wildflowers flourish.
The draft Stirling Pollinator Strategy 2023-2028 was given the go-ahead by Councillors yesterday (Thursday, 2 February) at a meeting of the Environment, Transport and Net Zero Committee as a pillar of Stirling’s attempts to tackle the global climate crisis.
Six locations across the Stirling Council area participated in a pilot programme in 2021, which identified areas of open space and grass areas which could be left to naturalise or be planted with wild flowers to increase biodiversity.
Access and walking
Following the success of these pilots, the council will now extend the programme across the Stirling area, engaging with community groups and residents as part of the process.
Marginal borders and informal grass paths will be mown through the areas identified to allow for access and walking, with signage to explain the environmental benefits of rewilding.
Areas such as sports pitches, road junctions, active burial grounds, play park equipment areas, green spaces within school grounds, war memorials and event spaces will be maintained as previously.
Dot Reid, Head of Environment and Place, said: “The UK has lost 97 per cent of its wildflower meadows since the 1930s and many of the plants in our parks and gardens rely on insects to pollinate their flowers. It is estimated one out of every three mouthfuls of food we eat relies on pollination.
“Making these changes will benefit pollinators and provide higher quality green spaces across Stirling. They will bring people closer to nature, with resulting health and well-being benefits.
“In addition to the environmental benefits , changes in the current 14-day grass cutting regime will reduce costs and allow for investment in new equipment, as well as the purchase of new trees and plants.
“The Council has a statutory duty to further the conservation of biodiversity and is committed to working with nature to contribute towards a thriving Stirling.
“We consulted on the Pollinator Strategy with community councils and local residents in the six pilot areas. Engagement work will continue as the strategy is implemented and evolves to ensure residents, community groups and businesses continue to have their voices heard.”
A recording of the meeting can be viewed here: https://stirling.public-i.tv/core/portal/home
See also: Draft Stirling Pollinator Strategy 2023-28 and February 2 agenda papers for the Environment, Transport and Net Zero Committee