Mowing meadows essential to good habitat management
MEADOW-mowing at long-flowering meadows in parks and open spaces is set to take place across the county in the coming weeks.
The development of long-flowering natural meadows is part of South Dublin County Council’s wider Pollination Action Plan.
However, the council admitted that cutting meadows at any time of year could generate complaints, but it is a necessary part of developing the meadows.
“This operation frequently generates complaints from members of the public,” stated the council in a circular sent to local councillors last Friday.
“Some complaints are concerned with the immediate impact of removing the wildflowers, while others mistakenly believe that meadows do not require any management.
“Meadow-mowing is an essential part of the council’s actions to improve habitats for pollinators and spans to over 160 hectares.
“All meadows need management, this usually involves cutting the meadows once a year and removing all the cuttings.
“Cutting and removing the grass reduces the nutrient levels in the soil, thus encouraging wildflowers to naturally colonise the areas.
“Not cutting the grass would add to the fertility of the soil and encourage grasses to grow which out-compete the wildflowers in the seed bank.”
Long-flowering meadows need to be cut once a year, according to the council, and the cutting will be carried out in an eco-conscious way.
“As this work requires specialist equipment it is carried out by agricultural contractors on behalf of the Council and the by-product, grass, is used as fodder,” stated the council.
“SDCC are signatories to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and are committed to creating and managing sustainable natural meadows across the county.”