Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Infrastructure Minister Backs ‘No Mow May’ Campaign

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Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd has announced his support for the ‘No Mow May’ campaign, designed to help promote biodiversity.

The Department for Infrastructure has responsibility for cutting 45,000km of grass verges across the road network and for the past few years has been changing to more environmentally friendly practices to allow wildflowers and wild-life to thrive.

Speaking in Coleraine where the Minister met staff who manage and deliver the Department’s grass-cutting programme, as well as the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Councillor Steven Callaghan and council staff who have won awards for their ‘don’t mow, let it grow’ approach, John O’Dowd said: “I am fully supportive of the ‘No Mow May’ approach which is a very positive initiative to ensure we protect nature and provide food for pollinating insects.

“The month of May is very important as bees and butterflies are actively foraging for food, sourced from dandelions and other flowering plants, found in grassy areas. By refraining from grass-cutting during May we are also helping to tackle pollution as well as locking away the very significant carbon below our feet.

“In 2022, I introduced a different approach to grass-cutting across the network we are responsible for. This has meant cutting grass less often to promote biodiversity. The difference it has made has been visibly remarkable and therefore a positive step in promoting biodiversity.

Road safety is always our priority and while we will cut road-side verges to ensure visibility for all road-users, we will not be cutting grass as often or in the same way as we would have many years ago. These initiatives are part of our plan to protect the environment and to play our part in addressing climate change. I have been very impressed by the ongoing collaboration between my Department and Causeway Coast and Glens Council and the difference it is making.”

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