Millbrook Parish Council’s Grass cutting contract and Millbrook Lakeside

Jun 22, 2023 | Community News, Council News

We have recently been asked for some information on Millbrook’s Grass cutting contract.  

PLEASE NOTE MILLBROOK PARISH COUNCIL ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ROADSIDE VERGES (WHICH INCLUDES NEW ROAD).
CORNWALL COUNCIL HIGHWAYS ARE RESPONSIBILE FOR THE ROADSIDE VERGES.

Please scroll down for details of the tender process.

Following a tender process the contract was awarded to Enhanscapes.

Views of Millbrook lakeside:

Millbrook Playing Field: A mosaic of short and long grass to be maintained in an informal design has been created

Above are some photographs taken of the field.   Do you have any photographs you would like to share with us? If so please send them to enquiries@millbrook-pc.gov.uk.  We would love to add them to our collection or use in the next edition of our newsletter.

Millbrook Parish Council Grass cutting tender maintenance tender process

10th February 2022: the Council’s Asset & Open Spaces Task Group met to review the Grass Cutting tenders.  The recommendations were put forward to the Full Council meeting for the next meeting.
https://millbrook-pc.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/2022.02.10-Asset-Open-Spaces-Task-Group-meeting_notes.pdf

15th November 2021: the Asset & Open Spaces Task Group recommendations regarding the grass cutting tender specifications were put forward to the full Council and approved (see minute 110b).

Contractors were then invited to tender, the Invitation to Tender was advertised on the government website, the Parish Council website, noticeboards and the Council Facebook page.

At the full Council meeting on 15th February 2022, the Council approved the award of the grass cutting contract to Enhanscapes.
https://millbrook-pc.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/2022.02.15_-Parish-Council-Meeting-Feb-2022-Minutes-Approved.pdf
Five applicants applied and submitted the following documents:

  • Contractor application form
  • Tender Application form
  • Method statement
  • Insurance documents

A summary document was produced.   All Councillors were supplied with the relevant documents.

Here is the method statement for the approved applicant – Enhanscapes Grass Cutting Management Method Statement

The grass cutting plans are on the Council’s website.  There have since been modifications to include (i)  a wild area in Millbrook New Cemetery (ii) the triangular piece of land on Hounster Hill.

Grass cutting plans

Grass cutting plans_2022-23_2023-24_2024-25

https://millbrook-pc.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Grass-Cutting-Schedule-and-Tender-updated.pdf

Grass Cutting Schedule and Tender updated

 

Cornwall Highway grass verge management

There have recently been some comments raised on social media about the Parish Council’s role and responsibility for the grass verges.

The Parish Council is not consulted on Cornwall Council’s Highway Maintenance programme.   We can raise safety issues and have submitted online reports regarding this.  Members of the public can also submit safety issues via the online reporting on Cornwall Council’s website.   More information regarding Cornwall Council’s Highway Maintenance for the verges is available on Cornwall Council’s website.

There have been suggestions raised that the Parish Council might want to consider approaching Cornwall Council with a view to taking on the responsibility for the roadside verges, particularly along New Road.   If the Parish Council were to consider covering this cost then it is likely this extra cost would have a knock on affect the Council’s budget and the precept submission (which would have an impact on the Council tax bills).

Here is some information from Cornwall Council’s website:

https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/parks-leisure-and-culture/parks-and-open-spaces/making-space-for-nature/wildlife-verges/

https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/parks-leisure-and-culture/parks-and-open-spaces/making-space-for-nature/

Other useful links

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/nature-recovery-map

 

 

 

 

48 Comments

  1. Sandy

    Great to see the grasses and greenery flourish around the village, think this adds to the beauty of the village particularly around our green space areas.

    Reply
  2. Deb Hoskin

    Additionally to my comment on Millbrook Parish Council’s Grass cutting contract and Millbrook Lakeside, is an example of council decisions when in 1994 I lived in a council house in Torpoint. I left the back garden to grow completely as long grass, with such a variety of grasses and wildflowers that arose, now known more as rewilding, back then I just saw how much began to live in my garden. The slow worms being wonderfully predominant, masses of butterflies and moths, well the list is endless, and I like now, was no expert in naming most. I just loved to make a home for so much life and beauty. I only cut back bramble, which I left in a corner where the slowworms began to breed in plenty, and most docks. Some people complained and the council visited, I was able to state how it worked as a conservation area and what was present and living and growing in my garden. I was given permission way back then to leave it to grow in this way, as a conservation area, because I had been able to show the wealth of wildlife to which my garden was a home.
    I am so glad to see this happening more widely. This is now over 30 years later!

    Reply
  3. Peter Belton

    The lakeside mowing regime has the potential to not only improve wildflower populations and species biodiversity, but also enhance the natural beauty of the area, as well as address the understandable concerns of Hay Fever sufferers.

    If one of the aims of the present lakeside mowing regime is to encourage the development of the local wildflower population, including pollinators, as well as enhance the general species biodiversity, a regular enhanced management schedule is essential to help control problem and competitive species. Grasses in particular often outcompete wild flowers, as they are usually vigorous growers, typically have extensive root systems, and can cope with a wider range of adverse conditions. Without regular management, dominant rhizome and tussock-forming grasses can quickly dominate, reducing species overall diversity. Rolling management programmes will maximise the Natural Capital Value of the areas. Unmanaged, the Natural Capital and biodiversity value of any grassland area will be diminished, as it quickly develop into bramble thickets and scrub.
    The aim of the extra cuts is to mimic the grazing routine of animals, who historically have grazed meadows, which would in turn encourage new wildflowers to grow and flourish, increasing the biodiversity within the meadow. As there has been a 97% loss in wild flower meadows in the UK over the past 50 years, there is a strong case to encourage the establishment of such a species rich managed meadows around the Millbrook lakeside and verges.
    It is important to realise that most of the areas around the lakeside were not originally species rich grasslands, and a restorative management regime, for previously undermanaged grasslands may include topping* to reduce quantities of tussocky species followed by repeated frequent mowing and removal of cuttings.
    After cutting, it is very important to rake off and remove the clippings. If left they can smother delicate plants and increase fertility which encourages rank growth of dominant grasses at the expense of wildflowers. If clippings are left to dry for a few days after cutting, flowers can shed any ripe seed and insects are able to make their escape.
    Once the enhanced management regime is established and a wild flower, species rich grassland meadow has become established, it is then important to reduce the frequency of mowing. Cutting too early and too frequently swiftly eliminates many wild flower species, reducing diversity and the value of the area. Cutting after flowers have set seed in late summer allows visually striking displays of wild flowers and a rich source of pollen and nectar for pollinators. Wild flowers take roughly six to eight weeks from flowering to setting seed. As wildflowers have varying flowering periods, cutting at different times can then allow for early blooming wildflowers to appear in spring and late blooming wildflowers to appear in summer to early autumn. This will ultimately lead to the extension of the wildflower meadow blooming period and will encourage new species to cultivate, whilst also ensuring that the meadow is a hive of activity for pollinators for as long as possible.
    It is vital that wild flowers are able to complete their full lifecycle – i.e. grow, flower and set seed. This replenishes the seed bank and allows populations to be maintained cost-free and indefinitely.
    As part of the restorative management regime, it would also greatly benefit the establishment of species rich meadows by harvesting local wildflower seed for your meadow, and collecting seed growing wild on roadside verges or other flower-rich sites. This can be spread on the meadow areas after it has been cut and lifted at the end of the season. Particular attention should be given to the wildflower Yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor). Also known as nature’s lawnmower, this is an invaluable species to have in all hay meadows.
    Wild flower species can also be grown as plug plants over the winter by using some of the collected wildflower seed, which can then be planted out the following spring. This is a great way of involving the local community with their meadow by working with local groups (could include local schools) to grow on the seed in their polytunnels; and the planting of the plugs in the spring can act as a volunteer event as well, similar to a tree planting day
    Hay Fever has a negative impact on the quality of life. Very severe hay fever may disrupt your productivity at school or work. In contrast to some feedback comments, the main causes of Hay Fever are tree and grass pollen. This is acknowledged by most authorities, including the NHS (https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/immune-system/hay-fever). Carefully timed mowing of the grasses to encourage biodiversity will have the additional benefit of reducing the incidence of grass pollen induced Hay Fever. Implementing an effective mowing regime to maximise biodiversity, and in particular wild flowers will reduce the grass pollen count during the seasonal hay fever warning periods. I am pleased to report that most wildflower species are not associated with hay fever. So a mowing regime designed to maximise wild flowers will significantly reduce the incidence of which will be welcomed by sufferers,
    *Topping is the process of getting rid of the top of a pasture with a large formation of seed head by cutting it off.

    Useful references:
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/lawns/wildflower-meadow-maintenance
    https://biodiversityireland.ie/practical-advice-on-managing-wildflower-meadows/
    https://thegrasspeople.com/when-should-i-cut-my-wildflower-meadow/

    Reply
  4. Deb Hoskin

    It has been so lovely to see the long grass at all its stages of growth until full grown and swaying in the breeze, the sound is a form of quiet enchantment I find , it certainly takes any of my stressful thoughts away, leaving me peaceful, offering me respite. It is natural that grass grow and our ancestral connection to it, I believe. I am however aware that everyone has their own perception, and I do hear and appreciate those who find it untidy. However that said, there can be no doubt of the increase in biodiversity, butterflies, insects, the birds and bats that feed on them, small mammals, hedgehogs in particular I have seen at night more often, amphibians, slow worms and more. Someone will have a good list! The reasons are plentiful and well documented as to why grass is left to grow long, as far as I know, each town, village and city are doing so. It is agreed as needed in support of climate resilience.
    Not so long ago generally we were mostly unaware of the plight of bees, I do believe change takes time, the recognition of the need for such as this plan supporting biodiversity of Nature of which we are a part, will likely become well known and appreciated, even by those who would like it more tidy. Not everyone likes bees! The fact is, we are part of Nature and what we do to Nature effects us, science is only just beginning to understand , like the tip of an iceberg that has been seen and known, how much effect a small insect or microorganism can have on the whole interconnected planet Earth. Effecting us. For the good of the future of all our children and children of all life , together, ways will have to change, even though they might not be comfortable for some, or many maybe for most of us, but change is something we will need more and more.
    Many children love to run through long grass, mine always did, as did I. I do also think it keeps children safer from the edge of the lake for example as Anne said.
    So many comments supporting what I agree is needed and in my view beautiful.
    This is one of the ways in which we can as a community care for ‘our’ small part of the Earth. Our shared home.
    Thank you to Millbrook Parish Council for your care.

    Reply
  5. Bridget Taylor

    I think the council are doing a brilliant job ,balancing cut paths with long grasses that benefit small mammals, and insects. There are some flowers in among them, and hopefully other flower seeds will blow in in time, where the grass isn’t cut and increase the diversity.
    We live in the country, and long grasses are part of what we find here. Nature is naturally ‘untidy’. People who think untidy nature is tantamount to an eyesore should live in a town! And whose children are incapable of seeing where a lake is? Please continue to create this lovely balance of short paths and swirling grasses. It is beautiful.

    Reply
  6. Chris Johnson

    I like (and prefer) the look and feel of the longer grass. That said, I also found the lakeside beautiful when the grass was cut, so I’d be happy either way.

    In contrast, some of those who prefer the grass cut seem very unhappy, so even if they are in the minority, I assume the Parish Council will strive for compromise.

    Reply
  7. Bob

    I am, no am I, surprised at the level of pure vitriol and negativity from some locals. I feel a level of entitlement and privelege has been assumed, over nature and our rights to claim spaces as our own. Don’t blame the Parish Council, they do a brilliant job. The new policy is a way of relearning and understanding what could be achieved. No balance is struck through neglect, entitlement and sheer contempt. Calm down. And should you have suggestions, share them, but don’t go making it personal and insulting please. Everyone has the right to a democratic discussion and anyone getting antsy or entitled just smacks of domination and oppression. The budgets for everything are tight. Have any of you paid attention to what is occurring in the world. Times are tough. It may not appear to be so when you flick a switch and life is on hold for you, distracted or given free reign to drive about making choices with your money, wherever that money comes from. Can we stop being bigoted about our home and those we live with. Life is diverse, reasoning complex balances takes practice, as does raising children and learning about life, no one person has got it made, so let’s start having a proper adult conversation and stop passively aggressively blaming others. If you want to change something, get involved. Ta

    Reply
  8. Ann Lewis

    This year it has made me really happy to notice the extra butterflies, birds, wildflowers, bats, etc. that are reappearing. This must be, at least in part, due to the spaces left to grow naturally around the village. Most butterflies & moths don’t emerge until July so it is great that the long grassy areas have been left.
    There haven’t yet been clouds of midges due to this better balance in the ecosystem around the lake.
    There is more wildlife for children to see & learn about.
    The lake edges are safer as people won’t walk close to them.
    More carbon is stored (50% of Earth’s carbon is stored in soils – IF they are healthy).
    Plants/trees in balanced ecosystems emit chemicals (phytoncides) that reduce stress hormones and improve our immune systems. I feel this around the lake much more than when it was “neat & tidy”.
    I personally love the contrast of long grass to mown paths. If people don’t like this look, hopefully they can consider the other benefits.
    I empathise with hayfever sufferers; it is miserable; but I haven’t read anything to say long grass & wildflowers contribute.
    Most importantly, I know that the contractor the parish council have hired is very knowledgable and experienced and will know the best time & way to cut the wild areas when it is necessary (for the needs of humans as well as other species).
    Thanks to the parish councillors for allowing all views to be considered.

    Reply
    • Fab Wicinski

      I agree with the current policy. Discussing it with members at the VH, I found it interesting, both the perspective on maintaining and visibility and then the importance of vitality on public spaces, in terms of biodiversity and balance. It is key that we adopt a less egocentric view, and a more eco-centric focus. The long grasses, as Ann Lewis has said, are great habitats for all manners of insects and animals to thrive on, for small animals to nests and forage, cover from birds for toads, newts, frogs etc, the list goes on. More places for nature to live, undisturbed. I appreciate that there are those that wish the habitat was ‘managed and may see it just there for their benefit, to provide for them, for their pleasure and use. But the fact is we are stewards of this environment, to allow its health and continuum. We need to allow things just to be sometimes, and for a natural balance, to regain strength. The insect population, such as cricket and grasshopper are dormant for long periods, beneath the wild flora, they emerge around now and are vital food source for other creatures as well as eating smaller prey themselves. Often, as has also been mentioned here, this food chain keeps things in check naturally, the levels of mosquito and midge kept down, (good point). I’m all for no mow May, and also June to August, just to allow biodiversity to thrive. Cutting back small sections for views or visibility may be a thing to consider, but I feel most grass should be left to thrive, and seed. This prevents all verges being potential dog toilets too. Some let their dogs run free, and they should be able to in a designated area, but not allowed them to disturb nature too much, kept under control to prevent accidents to human and animal life around the lake areas, and wild fouling is just as irresponsible too, as we should consider the build up and toxicity levels that dog poo brings with it, which does affect the balance over time, depending on what dogs eat. Although they’re not consuming large quantities of drugs and alcohol, so their poo not as tainted, but essentially watercourses and wild areas do not need heavy dog poo disposal. Long grass around lake prevents this somewhat. The ‘dog field’ is a good space, but this is also enjoyed by other users, children mainly. It is not exclusive to dogs and is used for events, so need to be used conscientiously. It is boggy there, and may I suggest that it is kept long around around the edges to a depth of btwn 2-3metres, and that willow and wildflower be interplanted there to encourage the take up of excess water? The long grass roots pull water from the ground and store it too, so this is a flood preventative. I don’t think that dogs should be particularly given priority, the whole space is public and poo must be cleared by owners, as our children do run across that area to the skatepark and the orchards. Edibles is also a thing to consider as in other parts of Cornwall, promoting small community garden spaces along walkways, (such as Incredible Edible), so the public can have access to plant, pick, learn and work together in nature? We need more ways to connect to our environment and each other. I’d be willing to volunteer some time as would others, to create such areas/installations. What we need to encourage is diversity and connection, to our natural habitat, the creatures in it and each other. It’s one thing managing or stewarding nature , but like children, when we say ‘controlling’ them, or it, for the benefit of what and whom? We need a good balance and to respect natures needs is a good starting point to see the result and learn from it

      Reply
  9. Julie Elworthy

    Dear clerk to the millbrook parish council. Our once lovely village of millbrook looks extremely neglected.
    The dead long grass around the lake ,roadside and our graveyards are a dog poo haven . I have more bugs and insects in my garden where I have wild flowers balanced with cut grass . I am a strong believer in biodiversity but we have to have a balance . The area which is known as the dog walking area on the old infill site was originally to be the site of a football field with running track around it ? We worked hard to get top soil here planted trees around the lake and got a footpath put in on anderton lake side . Now the infill area is a bramble infested overgrown site ? Millbrook has become an eyesore . What is the councils long term plan as this plan is not working for the majority only the minority. Visibility along our roads are becoming more and more dangerous. At the top of west street you have lovely flower beds and weed free pavements a wonderful entrance to our village ,then it’s turns into what can only be described as a mess . I love the idea of safe habitats for the ducks and birds around the lake but most of these spend time on the cut grass opposite lake house ! I could say a lot more on the subject but this will suffice for the minute .

    Reply
  10. Jim Woffenden

    I do understand some of the concerns raised, but I am broadly supportive of the Council’s grass cutting policy which provides more biodiversity and carbon storage than a cut lawn I think. It would be nice to have wildflowers encouraged within the grass mix and perhaps other planting in places if that’s possible. We are lucky to have a contractor that is so knowledgeable. I’ve enjoyed seeing orchids growing in the grass left to grow in the graveyard which seems to have a lot of wildlife. Also worth mentioning that regular grass cutting costs a lot of money which to my mind can be better spent on other things…. planting trees perhaps, making the roads safer, supporting the buses etc

    Reply
    • Tristan Price

      I like the areas of long grass for all the reasons mentioned and I like the look and functionality of having some short paths cut through so people can use and enjoy the space.

      Maybe some areas around the edge of the lake could be cut so people can enjoy the lake with kids without fear of them falling in? And the visibility issues identified grass cut there. But we are in an ecological crisis and we need to encourage wildlife

      Reply
  11. Chris

    I love the long grass and the feeling of being that bit closer to a natural environment, which I believe must be beneficial to the natural flora / fauna of the area (nb: without having baseline data and a quadrat to fling around that statement is purely subjective at the moment – although I did find this which looks fairly reputable https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/nature-on-your-doorstep/garden-activities/stop-mowing-your-lawn-for-nature/).

    The dog loves playing in the long grass, with mown sections providing interesting walkways to meander along, and with Millbrook being fortunate enough to have several areas available for different recreational uses the village is genuinely spoilt for choice in having a variety of places to ‘hang out’ in (mown, activity based or natural). Im lucky to live here and for there to be such an engaged group of people with our local neighbourhood.

    The rats that have been bought up I think probably feed of the excess bread and seeds thrown the the ducks and the general human rubbish which we seem to produce a lot of. Despite this and however we feel about them, they are part of nature to. https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/mammals/brown-rat

    Lastly and from a personal perspective, I do find my general mental health and wellbeing are positively influenced by the more natural environment. I think this is also a thing too…. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/research/nature-how-connecting-nature-benefits-our-mental-health

    To summarise, very supportive of the return to a more natural ‘unkempt’ environment as it brings so many benefits.

    Reply
  12. Roger Bews

    I had already commented on the cutting regime in the park area – winding paths, clusters of grasses showing their early flower colour – very attractive. I know that on King’s College Cambridge meadows they have been following no-now-May and are finding increases in birds, bugs of about a third.
    I also know where Milk-Maids(Cuckoo flower early pollinator) has survived into seeding for next year It was lost in 3 other Village sites.

    Come mid- June and I’d like to see a return to cutting and especially along New Road the verges spoil sight lines for drivers. (But lakeside fringe uncut surely makes it safer – not more hazardous for toddlers)

    Reply
  13. Rachel peters

    Cut the grass where it is a safety hazard visibility in dangerous areas is high risk for accidents. Also where do the ducks and swans graze now rats whilst wildlife are a health risk in high numbers and a walk at sundown t around the lake is crawling with them there are so many fields and meadows in the countryside where beautiful free food and nature abounds please keep our village safe whatever you think of each other

    Reply
  14. Jan Davies

    I would like to echo the views of those who are saying that change should be embraced, our planet and what we are leaving behind is so much more important than manicured hedges and short grass that some people perceive as “pretty” nothing can compare to natural nature, every small thing we can do to assist this should be done.

    As for cutting the grass around the lake people need to learn to take responsibility for themselves and their own safety with a large dose of common sense.

    The village doesn’t look neglected, you can see the care taken in the cut pathways and around the seating areas etc.

    Reply
    • Karen Sinclair

      I am in full support of the council’s decision to create more wildlife-friendly areas by leaving the grass and wildflowers to grow. So much of our wildlife is in crisis because of the climate and biodiversity emergencies. We all have a part to play in helping nature to recover and the Parish Council is leading by example by creating new habitats .

      Reply
  15. Ben

    I suffer from allergies and have lost several dog balls in the long grass BUT I am still in favour of the grass not being cut totally short all year round.

    My suggestions (and what I would like to see) is native wild flowers and a bigger of range of native grasses instead of just the raggedy old self seeded weed grass. This is what we need for local wildlife, to keep temperatures down, and prevent low water levels/droughts.

    The mown edges around pavements, and mown paths through the field are a nice compromise I feel and make it look a bit tidyer.

    Reply
  16. Mary Mattholie

    I strongly support the council in its modified mowing policy We face an ecological emergency The long grass provides a vital habitat for the invertebrates to breed and supports the pollinating insects. It is true that hay fever and asthma are increasing
    but other factors such as increased air pollution and warmer temperatures with longer seasons due to climate change are contributing to this.
    We have lived in one house in the village for 40 years The decline in bees, butterflies and other insects in that time has been staggering in just one garden Where are the cuckoos , owls and hedgehogs now ?

    Reply
  17. Fiona

    This is a contentious subject and will forever bring out those who prefer the neatness and order of traditional public parks and those who have embraced the need for wild spaces.
    A balance needs to be found.
    I believe it is a good thing to leave the grass long through-out the nesting season to provide cover for water birds.
    Grass should be cut short around all benches, including to the front.
    The dam should be kept short.

    I haven’t really walked around the field, so can’t comment from experience. Having read other comments it sounds lime its neither one thing or another. Is it a nature park or a community space? Sounds like it is neither.

    As I have said previously, it’s about moderation, as so much is in life.

    On a side note, I do so wish residents would take some pride in their village and clear the weeds in front of their homes. I live West St and it makes me sad to see the state of the street.

    Reply
  18. Lucy

    The village looks fantastic – it’s just not what we are used to! At this time of climate crisis, the actions of small communities do matter. Allowing small pockets of nature to thrive without destroying habitats is making a difference to levels of biodiversity in our area. It is a progressive step in the right direction. Every child I have seen walking past the over grown paths has found clear and obvious delight from the beauty of the nature.
    The flowers and the grasses look lovely, and they are clearly helping insect populations.

    As someone who suffers from asthma, we need to be very clear in understanding that leaving grasses in no way increases how much people suffer- it is of course predominantly the pollen in the air from the trees. Should we cut all the trees down also? Let’s try and get some perspective.

    As to it blocking views, being a safety hazard and increasing rat populations: these views are obviously totally unfounded. People will always struggle with change, but change we must.

    Of course, getting rid of some of the buddleia is essential so as to prevent building damage. Why can’t we be sensible? We can cut back the buddleia and other plants which may cause damage to walls and buildings, without having to cut down every blade of grass.

    There are ample places to walk all around the village. We are truly lucky to live somewhere so beautiful. Let’s look after it and help it grow.

    Reply
  19. Jo Ballard

    I think it looks beautiful and natural and I love the way it has been managed. We need more wild places and biodiversity. Thank you its a brilliant thing to do. I’ve found some unusual flowers not seen before.

    Reply
  20. Helen

    I love the mix of cut and wild areas. It encourages wildlife, something that with intensive farming practices has suffered significantly in recent years. Overall, I’m happy with the tall, long grassy areas… i wonder if the crossing by the play park should be kept short as little people could have a problem seeing cars approaching when obscured by long grass and making their way to and from the park. Having areas of long grass around the edge of the lake isn’t a problem for me… in fact I like it as it gives the wildlife somewhere to shelter. Knowing where the edge of the lake is isn’t an issue…. just avoid the long grass and you won’t fall in.
    Thanks you to those who initiated the varied cutting plan…. It’s lovely to walk around the lake and see so many butterflies.

    Reply
  21. Penelope Knowles

    I have recently moved from a nearby village to Millbrook and I love the whole area and am proud to say I live here.
    The council made the brave decision to declare a climate emergency and I feel as parishioners we should do all we can to support that declaration – not just for our lifetime but for our children their children and the children of the future. Constant grass cutting throughout the growing season is extremely expensive and certainly not in compliance with the declaration of climate emergency.
    Surely it’s a time to support our councillors during a challenging term of austerity and inflation. I believe the grass cutting has been carried out with huge considerations for everyone’s needs – old and young alike. We can surely make out the edge of the water when necessary! We are extremely privileged to live in an area with a choice of walks and play areas so close at hand.
    I would like to thank all the councillors for their time and dedication given freely for the benefit of our wonderful community – by no means an easy task

    Reply
  22. Bruce

    I think the MPC contractor has the cutting about right in the Park/lakeside area: plenty of cut areas to walk/ride around and some long grass patches to encourage the wildlife they support. Pollen affecting those who suffer hayfever (such as me) blows in from trees, fields and local verges so can’t me completely controlled; avoidance at peak season and use of medication is a better option than taking away a key foundation of the wildlife food chain.
    I love the Park having some wild areas with paths meandering thru’ and fail to see how this makes the village untidy and parishioners ashamed to live here ….. do residents remember 20+ years ago when there was no footpath around the lake and brambles screened off the east side of the lake? We now have a super amenity for all to enjoy – just look at how many folk now come here for their walk or ride in their mobility scooter.

    Reply
    • Helen

      I echo Bruce’s comment.
      During June, I was delighted to see the swathes of long grass around the lake, and really enjoyed a walk through the “maze” in the park that used to just be a bog.
      We humans really must do all we can to encourage biodiversity and wildlife. If we don’t there will be traumatic consequences.
      Rats beside the lake are proliferating, but that is due to overfeeding of the ducks and fowl, not because they can hide in the long grass.
      I congratulate the parish council on their management of the open areas of the village.
      Thank you.

      Reply
  23. Hilary

    The biodiversity of plants and animals is lovely, the dog walking field is significantly less soggy in recent years thanks to the extra growth. It would be lovely to see some more wildflowers in the patches that aren’t cut rather than just grass but I feel that will come with time as we allow wild flowers to grow to seed. The mental stimulation it gives the children and the dog when exploring now is wonderful and I am very grateful for the change. I would agree the road verges were an issue but it did slow people down, also noted this is not your responsibility so I will report to Cornwall Council in the future. Thank you for doing the best you can.

    Reply
  24. Karen

    I think the village green areas are looking fabulous.
    I do like to see the wild grass areas, we know it encourages essential wild life.
    The children love following the paths that are cut amongst the long grass cut in the field.
    It does concern me that a rise in asthma/breathing issues has been mentioned by other residents, I think any data related to this should be considered by the council on any future planning.
    I think the area along New Road, alongside the lake, should be trimmed down to aid visibility for traffic.

    Reply
  25. Sian

    It’s been so, so lovely to see the grass and wild flowers been left to grow around the verges and lake in Millbrook. This is such an important part of our local ecosystem and will encourage all sorts of wildlife that we are so lucky to have here. We live in a beautiful rural setting and am so grateful that our local population and the parish council appreciate the absolute importance of leaving certain areas to grow naturally. I walk with my children and dog daily through the dog field and around the lake and it is now such a more enjoyable, relaxing and interesting experience since the wild grass areas have been allowed to grow. So pleased it’s been done such a sympathetic way allowing access for all to enjoy the areas. Thank you and please let’s continue to develop our local communal areas into wildlife friendly spaces.

    Reply
  26. Sylvie Gomez

    I like the way the grass has been managed, especially around the lake. There are clear paths for people and the areas left are lovely, not only for us but for our wildlife. The number of insects has dramatically declined in the past twenty years and this has a knock on effect for birds and mammals. I realise that verges beside roads where sight is impacted must be kept clear but these are only in a few places. I am very happy with our parish council thinking about nature and trying to increase diversity.

    Reply
    • John

      Could you please risk asses before making decisions way up the benefits of what you are attempting to achieve against the risk of harm to the public. Then could you come up with some kind of compromise and cut the grass that impedes drivers from being able to identify risk on New Road. It’s literally one small section than keep the rest nice and long to keep everyone happy. Instead of a minority polarising the issue on social media the council buying into it and not much is actually getting achieved.
      Lastly do the parish council control council tax for Cornwall l.
      How much is the contract for grass cutting.
      Is it deemed appropriate for the contractors to be so heavily involved on social media and are there any conflicts of interest within the council.
      Lastly can the council start focusing on more important green issues such as the amount of new builds flying up all over the place the extortionate housing prices. The huge inequality that persists in such a small place. The working classes of this village won’t have the opportunity to build all singing and dancing eco homes let alone get solar panels and buy an electric car. So maybe it’s time to switch on forget about the grass and think about how people are going to travel from 2030 onwards.

      Reply
  27. Linda Dunstone

    As a resident for over 43 years of the Rame Peninsula, I have personally witnessed the fall in bird, mammal and insect populations. It’s been encouraging to see how our local council and councils around the country have embraced the no mow policy and let our verges grow to help bio diversity thrive again. Road verges are particularly important during the spring and summer when a huge range of wildflowers and grasses provide a rich habitat for wildlife including insects, spiders, snails, small mammals and birds. We are so fortunate on this peninsula to still have a range of bio diversity as many areas of the world have completely lost theirs and with it their ability to grow food. I’d like to thank Millbrook Parish Council for their forward thinking and implementation of this hugely important effort. If we the human race are really going to help in this very apparent climate crisis then we all need to understand the fragility of our current eco systems and importance of boosting our insect populations for the survival of future generations.

    Reply
  28. Frances Brennan

    It used to be that the balance of wildlife havens wasn’t at the expense of Health and Safety. I complained to C C too as the line of sight on New Rd was dangerously impeded by the long grass. C C were/are not interested. The balance is wrong now. Wildlife is important and I loved the mix of long and short areas in the dog field. I also think the council needs to better explain it’s limitations and maybe look at how to manage fb without councillors getting involved in fb debates. Maybe review the comms strategy?

    Reply
  29. Zoe Fowler

    The lack of grass cutting around the village is making it look unsightly and dangerous with poor visibility. I don’t see the point of cutting small areas and leaving clumps of long grass. As mentioned on another comment you can’t see where the edge of the lake is and that makes it dangerous. There are also several clumps of stinging nettles along the new road section of the lake. Snakes are a problem in long grass too which we discovered several years ago when our dog was bitten by a snake down near Stone pier and he later died. The grass seed also causes problems for people with hay fever.
    We have a problem with a buddleia bush growing in the road by Pete’s garage and I’ll give the Council their due whenever I have gone into the Council office and mentioned it, it is usually dealt with swiftly.
    My big gripe is the state of the graveyard and the fact that the area in the new section where nobody is buried gets cut but the rest doesn’t! The war graves get cut around but no where else, my grandfather served in the war and although he did not die in it, does he not deserve the respect others do? There are numerous areas in the village that can be left wild but we need to get a balance between safety and nature. Encourage wild flowers in the flower beds and boats around the village, have wild areas by all means in areas that are not going to endanger residents by blocking the view when driving and verges that can’t be seen.

    Reply
  30. Rob Dyson

    Generally I would like a mixture, some left wild and some mown. Round the childrens area next to West St car park, mown. But a patch close to the stream definitely left wild, close the to parking spaces mown. On the lakeside again a mixture but mainly wild. Near the benches cut for example.
    Much is made of the area between the lake and the footy ground but the wildlife will disappear if mown. What’s left for the kids to see?

    Reply
  31. Max rodpui

    I would like to support the council in their survey and will give my opinion on the grass verges around the lake. I would prefer to see the water and like the grass cut.

    Reply
  32. Kirstie Bristow

    The grass areas in Millbrook Village are a disgrace. I used to be proud to live in this village, but now it is just looks like an unloved, unkept mess.
    The grass areas around the lake are dangerous. Nobody can see where the end of the bank ends and the lake begins, meaning that some poor person (I expect a child) could very possibly fall in. This could and would be fatal (as it has been in the past).
    The only animals that are making nests and thriving in that area are rats, which carry diseases, that can also be fatal to both animals and people.
    Bees and butterflies do not gravitate towards grass, as the grass pollen is not useful to them.
    People with lung problems are having difficulty with breathing due to the amount of grass pollen caused by the height of the grass. There has been a sufficient rise in emergency hospital admissions due to what is known as the ‘Pollen Bomb’ caused by not cutting grassy areas.
    If the grass is kept short regularly, then it wouldn’t be brown and unsightly, it would be green, like it is outside peoples houses that have cut it themselves.
    Sight is still hindered when travelling along the road between the village and Southdown.
    When I did my online poll, 93% of the village people who voted, voted for the grass areas to be cut and left short. I understand this does not involve the whole of the village as some are not on social media, but it is a large proportion of the village.

    Reply
    • Parish Clerk

      Hi Kirstie, Many thanks for your comments. Looking back to your Facebook poll, it appears that you were gauging local opinion on the roadside grass verges and not the lakeside area. As you are aware, Cornwall Council are responsible for the verges. As soon as the Parish Council were aware of safety concerns, Cornwall Council were alerted to the issue by the Clerk, which was prior to your poll. The office is open Monday – Friday afternoons, so please feel free to pop in or email us directly with your concerns.

      Reply
  33. Mandy Gulatar

    The village is a mess! Many people are having hay fever and asthma issues. Residents along New Road are have rat issues apparently. The visibility along new road is still dangerous and children running can’t see the edge of the lake. I’ve lived in the village for 61 years and I’m sad to say I’m now ashamed of the place and hope my family from down west don’t visit!! They have alway loved the lake as it was..neat and tidy. The majority of the village agree with cutting all the grass around the lake area.

    Reply
    • Ryan Penter

      Why does it suddenly take costly consultations, surveys and meetings to understand how to cut the grass around a village? And the suggestion that “council tax charges might be impacted” is ******* (redacted) outrageous, council tax rates are extortionate despite virtually zero investment. The sides of lakes. The sides of the road. Access points. It’s surely not that difficult. As for the graveyard, what an absolute disgrace, if I had family members in there I would be apoplectic at the way it has been neglected, the grass is 3ft high, you can hardly see the gravestones.

      Reply
      • Parish Clerk

        Dear Ryan
        Thank you for taking the time to submit your feedback to the Parish Council. I am sure you will appreciate that this is a public website and therefore your comment has been redacted.
        Regarding the graveyard, are you referring to the old section? This falls under the responsibility of Cornwall Council and who work with a team of volunteers. For more information please contact Volunteers@cormacltd.co.uk.

        Reply
  34. Susan Cox

    The village of Millbrook looks an utter mess, I along with others feel that our concerns regarding the verges, play areas for the children of the village are totally ignored.
    Walked past the children’s “tractor park” play area that too look awful.
    No mow May is totally understandable and I’m certain nobody complains then but this is too much.
    The walk around the “lake” through the wooded area is an utter disgrace.

    Reply
    • Pete Walker

      As someone who walks and cycles around the lake, I have enjoyed the mix of grass heights and not noticed any issues with visibility. It does not look untidy to me. I can’t really comment on the field but I would agree that having a grassed area cut short to allow ball games would be sensible if one does not already exist.

      Reply
  35. Pat McMahon

    I am still utterly frustrated with the lack of openness and the way the clerk of the parish fobs you off, again and again. So after phone calls, emails now let’s try this way.
    I completely understand no mow May, but we are in July, and still only silly paths being cut, around the lake and the field with the addition of a small area completely cut. The grass is brown and gone to seed. Insects now moved on to pasture new.

    The Tanyard and the field are the only communal spaces the village have to sit and talk, to take a stroll, for children to run and play, and families to gather for picnics, play family games of cricket and rounders, as well as dog owners to exercise their pets chasing balls, playing with other dogs.

    Sad times we live in when I now drive to Torpoint, even Seaton to exercise my dog twice a day, when there is a perfectly good field in walking distance, but this is the only option open to me and others, because the parish council do not keep a communal space in a condition that is fit for purpose, so families, dog walkers or those out for a stroll, can enjoy the area.

    But come Harvest festival a miracle happens and the field is completely cut for the community event, how hypocritical is that? The field should be fully cut and fully assessable year round for the community not just when the Parish Council deem us worthy.

    In the meantime myself and others are forced to pollute the environment, really helping the birds, insects, bees flowers and wildlife.

    The village rumour is now that there is no point complaining as the field is going to be wild seeded and given back to nature, can you confirm if this is just gossip or if it has substance?

    I am really frustrated at the lack of openness of the Parish Council, and the hypocrisy surrounding the grass cutting, thought we lived in a democratic society not a dictatorship.

    Would be nice to have an open discussion so we can all put our point of views across and cut through the rumour and understand from both sides, so a solution can be agreed upon, so we do not have to keep having the same discussion on different platforms.

    As I work, I am unable to attend meet up at the village hall to discuss this, but would attend a council meeting if you could confirm your next one please.

    Reply
    • Parish Clerk

      Dear Pat
      Your initial email was sent to Cormac and forwarded to Millbrook Parish Council on 26th May 2023. A response was sent from the Council’s Admin Support Officer on 30th May 2023.
      https://millbrook-pc.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/20230530-Grasscutting-of-the-dog-field-PM.pdf

      A further email was sent to Millbrook Parish Councillors and the Maker with Rame Parish Clerk. A response to this email can be found here – https://millbrook-pc.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/20230707-Cutting-of-the-recreation-PM.pdf

      Reply
      • Lauren Fitzpatrick

        Millbrook is looking very messy. The grass around the lake is a mess and other parts of millbrook look terrible.

        It’s dangerous on new road with not being able to see cars/children and someone could fall in the lake not being able to see the edge.

        Why take away the beauty of the lake and that wildlife there?
        We have plenty of places for bees etc other places in the village.

        My garden flowers are covered in bees/ dragonfly’s etc, the field with just grass at the from of my house doesn’t have many insects flying around. It’s flowers they like so so some wild flower patches in safe places

        Reply
    • Gillian Gibson

      As much as I love the wildlife and natural beauty, I fear Millbrook is now an area of mockery and disrepair.

      I find the long grass Along the roadside of the lake not only an ugly disgrace, but a hazard in the worst possible state… not only a haven for rats, if you cannot see over the top of the brown and ugly long grass, it is onIy time before a child or dog runs out into the road…

      The entire road and verge set up needs a good sorting… there is an enormous amount of green, wooded, natural nature areas in and around millbrook, we have more areas than many other villages throughout the country.. The alpines, village lake walks, marina’s, empacombe walks ..farmland and
      Rights of access across many. You only have to stand and look around to see how much beauty we have.. we don’t need additional long grass and unkempt appearances..

      parking bays and cut grass along the main roadway should be looked at for everyone’s safety..
      not dealing with these issues is lazy and cheap.

      Using the environment as a pathetic excuse to do nothing and save money. Shame on you ..

      Reply

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