Millbrook Parish Council grass cutting and village maintenance

Jul 12, 2023 | Community News, Council News

Thank you to everyone who has submitted comments regarding the Parish Council grass cutting and general village maintenance.

PLEASE NOTE MILLBROOK PARISH COUNCIL ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ROADSIDE VERGES (INCLUDING THE VERGES ALONG NEW ROAD).

CORNWALL COUNCIL ARE RESPONSIBILE FOR THE ROADSIDE VERGES.

We have been made aware of a comment that the post was ‘hidden’ in the website. This is because we have had to upload documents and information relating to Millbrook Skatepark to support a funding application. The Parish Council website does have a search facility but show that the post information appears on the front page a new post has been created

The Parish Council is advertising for an additional caretaker.   If you are interested in the position please get in touch – Part-time Caretaker job vacancy | Millbrook Parish Council (millbrook-pc.gov.uk). Please forward share the job advertisement with anyone you think would be interested in applying.

We have been made aware of a comment that the post was ‘hidden’ in the website. This is because we have had to upload documents relating to Millbrook Skatepark to support a funding application. The Parish Council website does have a search facility but in order to make the information more accessible for everyone a new post has been created.

The grass cutting contract can be viewed here.

Information relating to the grass verges, which are maintained by Cornwall Council can be viewed here.   Please see Cornwall Councillor Kate Ewert’s report for an update on ‘yellow rattle’ on the grass verges.

Comments on feedback published on the website to date are shown on this document – https://millbrook-pc.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Grass-cutting-and-village-maintenance-comments-20230712.pdf

The Parish Council has also received some feedback from parishioners who do not wish to submit a comment on line.  For transparency the comments are shown below and will be included in a final report to the Parish Council but names will be redacted:

  • I didn’t wish to comment on line about the grass cutting around the lake. I think that the natural look is very lovely early in the year but would think that when the seed is set and the birds have finished nesting in late July the areas around the lake could be mown. The field along New Road is fine as it is.The email prompted me to complain about the state of the village streets with weeds growing between the houses and the road. I know home owners should take responsibility for this but can the Council clean these areas up.
  • Thank you for asking our opinion.

    i agree with the grass being left long, UNCUT, around the lake for our local wildlife.

    I think it only needs to be cut on by the viewing benches and on one part, for safety, on the bend after the chemist, after the mind the ducks sign, so there is a view of traffic and pedestrians coming round the bend. Maybe this is the verge that isnt your concern?
    I think this is the compromise between the 2 arguments cut or not to cut. Just cut in certain places. To keep it safe, keep the views and support nature.
    Cutting it all makes it look neat but does not make it feel nice.. if we lose our bees butterflies and nesting birds. We need to protect nature for our generations to enjoy like we did.
    Many thanks for taking on our views.
  • After chatting with you the other day I just wanted to say I see absolutely nothing wrong with how any of the grass has been cut around the lakeside, the grass verges by the road or in the recreational areas (though I didn’t see much of that area in my walk this morning).
    Whilst I appreciate that many of the residents might appreciate the natural aesthetic of things being “wild” or overgrown, during my studies I learned that when approaching ecology management, necessary pruning, or removal of overgrown plant life actually helps promote better growth and development of the wider ecology of an area. I also think it helps mean less rubbish is caught in it and allows for the wildlife to build new nests, thus developing the wildlife in the region further.
    It may seem like a severe haircut for the lake and surrounding areas, but it will grow back to it’s natural look by the arrival of the masses of tourists we get during late July and August, so I cannot see that it would even cost the village in tourism trade.
    I trust my local Parish Council in these matters and despite other people’s bellyaching, I know these decisions are not made flippantly and much thought goes into it all. Thank you for doing your part in making Millbrook a wonderful place to live.
  • I walk in Millbrook park and Lake daily with my dogs,
    I love the way the grass is being maintained and have noticed the increase in wild flowers and pollinators (I will try to send you some pics that I have taken)
    Since the grass and brambles have been left to grow there is significant more numbers of ringlet butterflies,
    I have also spoken with visitors who come to our park to see the bird life especially in the bramble thickets that are breeding there.
    The only problem I find is the grass verges by the road needs to be kept shorter so that drivers view is clear the turning to the football club from Southdown still has very high vegetation by the road signs that obstructs drivers view coming out onto the road

 

A copy of a painting commissioned by the Parish Council to be presented to the Mayhor of Plouider.

 

26 Comments

  1. Damien

    It is so wonderful to see the village in full bloom! One of the things that make Millbrook such a special place to live is the abundance of often rare wildlife (that relies on the natural spaces to survive). The council and contractor have done an amazing job of balancing this with the well considered cut paths that allow us all to get in there and enjoy it. Added to this are the obvious health benefits of carbon sequestration in a village already over occupied by needlessly large vehicles. I applaud this progressive approach to the management of our green spaces, it is a small yet vital step towards ensuring that our children have a healthier environment (and world) to grow up and grow old in. I can appreciate that not everyone is a fan of nature, but would suggest to these people that maybe living in the countryside is strange choice to have made??!

    Reply
  2. Claire

    I wholeheartedly support the council, and the experts who have so successfully guided the contractors on the grass cutting policy. I really congratulate them on what they have achieved in looking after our wonderful environment around the lake, verges and paths. I love the long grass and the winding paths around the lake, and have noticed such a turnaround in our flora and fauna. The wild areas have certainly benefitted the wildfowl too, giving them not only shelter, but offering protection from predators for their young. I genuinely don’t think we have had so many midges this year…..no surprise really, as we have had many swallows feasting on them, and of course there are hundreds of bats living around the lake who depend on midges and other insects as a food source. I have really enjoyed strolling around the lake and sometimes cycling, particularly of an evening. So many people are making an effort to come out and look for nature….often with their children, discovering allsorts of interesting beetles, butterflies and moths. On chatting to those sat on the benches or dog walking, they have all expressed their pleasure at seeing the area look so beautiful and abundant with wildlife, it simply makes life so much more pleasant. Most of us are really making an effort to stop using chemicals in our gardens and have areas that are left to nature….we must all do our bit, so the council is helping us to help nature with its current policy. We must all do everything to help our wildlife. I feel very proud to live on the Rame peninsula, where we lead the way….especially with the parish councils enlightened ground breaking policies toward conservation. Thankyou.

    Reply
  3. Pauline Woffenden

    Let the grass grow ,even if it is not ‘TIDY’

    Reply
  4. Peter Davis

    I heartily approve of the current practice of managing the grass as a meadow to encourage wild flowers and associated insects.

    Reply
  5. Mike Wood

    The rationale for not cutting the grass ares specified is in my view very sound. We all have a responsibility for the environment and ensuring that our wildlife in all its forms is preserved and allowed to flourish. Provided paths, seating areas etc are kept clear then there should be no health and safety issues to concern individuals.
    My one concern relates to irresponsible dog owners, and sadly there are still many, who do not clear up their animal’s waste. The increased areas of long grass give these people even greater scope to be irresponsible. Sadly the only deterrent action which works is to catch and fine these individuals, in the same way that parking tickets discourage illegal parking.

    Reply
    • Red

      I love the wild growth, I think it looks beautiful and benefits in all manner of ways.

      I agree with comments about driving along by the pond and visibility. A number of times I have been caught out as I have been going from the chemist end towards the park and not been able to see the full length of the road. Generally though, people are really good at pulling over, as am I. I would rather have long grass, drive slowly and pull over as neccisary, but it might prove safer to trim that bit.

      Overall, I have never lived in a village that allows the grass to grow long and I feel really lucky to live somewhere that’s so beautifully maintained and ecologically sound. My big dog REALLY LOVES the long grass on the park and although there’s a tick risk, if I am vigilant and remove the lil ******** then all is well on that front too. My old collie doesn’t like the long grass, so the paths through are brilliant too.

      Congratulations on an amazing park…I make apple and blackberry jelly every autumn from the park and share it with friends. Its such a gift, especially when times are so hard financially.

      Walking through the park really helps my mental health too. It’s the best park I have ever seen. Thank you.

      Reply
  6. Tasha

    I have loved seeing the wild life florish with the longer grass and support the councils policy. It would be good to see greater diversity of species to increase the range of habits. Planting some lower growing plants where visibility is important might help, rather than just letting grasses designed to be mowed grow tall. If the 20 speed limit was kept to or enforced, there shouldn’t be any safety issues.
    The concept of “weeds” rather than wild plants and “neat and tidy” is outdated considering the climate emergency and massive biodiversity loss in this country.
    I appreciate the councils efforts to see the bigger picture and don’t doubt, that with a few slight alterations, this is a good policy.

    Reply
  7. A

    I absolutely love what has been happening i regards to management of the lake and green spaces recently. The increased biodiversity is astounding, so many more plants and flowers popping up, along with numerous insects. This also helps other wildlife such as birds. Would be nice if the lake was drained less often though, a couple of years back there was an amazing display of swallows due to the nats, but since it has been drained more often there have barely been any.

    In regards to the roadside verges, this is managed by cornwall council, not the parish council. Go complain to them, and while you’re at it, slow down.

    I know some of you would rather everything cut down and concreted over, but in the current climate this is just not responsible. Change has to happen, and it takes time, and I for one am willing to wait.

    A massive thank you to enhanscapes, keep it up!

    Reply
  8. Tom Fishers

    I’m a bit confused about why people are wanting to cut the grass by the lake for the “purpose of visibility” when the weeds parked on the other side limit vision more significantly?

    Weeds are everywhere! They’re all over the road, and are ghastly to look at. My daughter is always worried about them too and says they are ‘scary’.

    We dedicate so much space to them. For what purpose? It seems to be evidence of our entitlement that we insist on keeping so many weeds around (especially by residential homes?!) – they should be removed to make the village more pleasant, quieter, spacious, and environmentally friendly.

    I myself was nearly hit by a car the other day and it was definitely travelling over 20mph.

    Also, there are houses on my street with awful looking cars and they make the village look terrible! One is covered in rust and certainly wouldn’t pass an MOT!

    Reply
  9. Sadie

    I like the long meadow effect around the lake/ in the park area with paths cut out to make it interesting for children to run through. But my concern is the long grass areas around the road side. It reduces visibility when cycling, driving or as a pedestrian. Not to mention untidy when it gets to a certain length then falls over. It finally got cut a few weeks ago but as it was left so long it looked hacked rather than mowed! It needs to be cut regularly to keep it smart and safe. Im all for leaving it long in around the park just not by the roadside.

    Reply
  10. Vikki

    The village as a whole looks a mess at the moment. Nature is important but I feel safety should be the utmost priority. The grass along new road needs cutting back for visibility for drivers and pedestrians, of which I am both. There are plenty of green spaces around the village and the lake for this to not have a huge impact on nature. The other issue is these huge weeds growing out into the roads, often accompanied by long stinging nettles. These could be addressed by residents if they had some pride in the village by taking 10 mins to just tidy outside their homes and pull out these weeds. I’m fed up walking in the road with my pushchair as don’t want my daughter grabbing the nettles. She loves flowers so is inclined to try and get them. Maybe we could encourage people to do outside their homes and then the PC could concentrate on public areas such as around the lake and the entrance to west street car park at dodbrook.

    Reply
  11. Jen Gibson

    Whilst I support the Councils modified mowing policy, I strongly believe there is room for a balance between environmental and ecological matters and Health & Safety. I agree the MPC Contractor has the cutting about right in the Park/Lakeside area allowing habitation to a huge variety of wildlife. The mowed pathways giving swathes of walking areas look wonderful – whilst leaving the lakeside banks to provide cover for wildlife.
    Having said all that, consideration must be given to the Health & Safety issues. There are many areas where the long grass, waist high in some places, cause poor visibility for all road users and pedestrians and needs to be trimmed back to minimise risk of accidents.
    My partner cuts the grass outside Island House and The Moorings. The long waist height grass became a definite Health & Safety issue- on cutting the grass he discovered cans, glass bottles, some broken, general rubbish, food waste and plenty of Dog poo. Being a responsible dog owner I know how difficult it can be finding and picking up poo in long grass. I agree with the suggestion to extend the cut area near the road, paths and bends etc to improve visibility. We can all compromise and live in harmony with Nature.

    Reply
    • TP

      I fully support the Parish Council grass cutting policy. Obviously there may be places where a bit of cutting is necessary for safety but generally I am pleased to see that areas have been left uncut for the vital pollinators and I have noticed, in my walks around the lake, an increase in meadow brown butterflies this year. Thank you.

      Reply
  12. Ryan Evans

    I support Millbrook Parish Council’s current grass cutting policy, and appreciate the thought and care that the contractor puts into maintaining the green spaces in an innovative and environmentally friendly way.

    Keeping areas of long grass and wildflowers has brought a visible improvement to the biodiversity of our village – I’ve observed increased number of butterflies, insects and birds. In a situation where biodiversity is under serious threat, we need to do everything we can to provide spaces for biodiversity to flourish.

    In the long term, working with nature rather than against it is the way forward for so many reasons. As well as biodiversity, bee-friendly plants and more access to nature, leaving large sections to grow naturally seems to have improved soil – the field between the lake and skate park is less boggy and the banks of the lake look better consolidated and less likely to crumble. The paths cut in the field are also great and make it a much more interesting space for all – it’s not solely for the use of dog walkers.

    At a time when budgets are tight, I’m pleased that MPC isn’t spending huge amounts keeping all the green spaces perfectly manicured, which requires expensive constant maintenance, so the limited budget can be better spent elsewhere.

    The varied cutting system is working well in allowing for nature and also creating spaces that we can all enjoy, I hope MPC continues with this innovative and forward thinking policy.

    Reply
  13. Amanda

    Leaving the grass around the lakeside and in the recreation area makes a wildflower meadow, which provides good wildlife habitat and benefits pollinators. Meandering paths cut through it are pleasant for people to walk along, and where children can play.
    ‘No mow May is fine’, leaving cutting until after plants have seeded and nesting is over is fine, but ‘no mow June’ and ‘no mow July’ is too much neglect. The area is a mess of brown stalks so, when eventually cut, at ground level there will be tough stalks, not pleasant for people or dogs to walk on and the appearance will be poor, and will not sprout new green growth for some time.
    Are you able to chivvy those responsible to mow the verges? All along the road and pavements, these uncut verges, tall, brown and gone to seed, look a real mess.
    Millbrook and the Rame Peninsula has many miles of dandelions and wild plants. If householders take responsibility for weeding outside their own homes that will help the village look a lot more tidy.

    Reply
  14. Ursula

    I really like the longer grass, wildflowers and all the invertebrates (although not that keen on spiders). Our children are lucky to be able to experience wild places and have a forward thinking parish council – it’s not easy making changes.

    Reply
  15. Vix Hill-Ryder

    I am in full support of long grasses at edges of the lake with a fair sized cut perimeter to be maintained to improve traffic sight lines.

    I’d prefer to see the playing field cut short to allow dog walkers a space that’s uninterrupted by the amazing conservation efforts of the PC and community.

    I support the closed section of the GY being managed as a conservation area by CORMAC. However I feel that the open section of the GY where live burials take place should be cut short and the graves maintained in a more conservative manner.

    I think the wild flowers and grasses in the village have encouraged an amazing amount of pollinators this year and that the verges have looked spectacular.

    I think that speed bumps should be introduced along the New Road and feel that many who have complained about the verges who drive, would do well to slow down.

    I feel a fair compromise can be achieved where we can respect our village as part of the countryside we are lucky to live in. This is not, thankfully, a town or city environment.

    I do not support cancer causing chemicals to be used to manage verges, esp around a water course and am very happy with the foam treatment policy the PC engaged in.

    The village hosts a wide range of botanical flora that is a vital food source for not only wildlife but the villagers in our community. I am very happy to lead a series of free walks and talks to showcase what we have and how to nurture and protect this resource in a time of food insecurity.

    Many thanks for all the PC and its contractors do to support the care and delicate ecosystem of the Rame Peninsula.

    With best wishes,

    Reply
  16. Jemma Knowles

    We are nature. Not understanding this is one of the most terrifying afflictions of our ‘modern’ society. In this time of climate and ecological collapse, it blows my mind that we are so detached from our place in the world that a community such as this is even having this conversation. For me, what the parish council have done regarding the grass cutting plan is a wonderful (small) step in the right direction and I am grateful to them – having access to communal spaces where there is care and consideration for increasing biodiversity, whilst providing food for humans and wildlife alike is such a privilege and a message to our young people that their future matters. Seeing wilder spaces is beauty in my eyes. A mown lawn, to me, is a biodiverse wasteland. I’m saddened that this discussion has become so personal, that social media platforms are used to attack people who are doing their jobs with consideration for the bigger picture not just their personal gains. I’m sad that ‘neat and tidy’ is more important than a healthy future. People can take care being near waterways, rats are everywhere and the more an ecosystem is left to itself, the more it will balance itself. Respiratory diseases increase with a warming climate and increased pollution. Maybe, if we had less cars the road would be two-way and it wouldn’t matter what the verge looked like! A wise man said that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” so thank you to everyone who has been part of developing and implementing the grass cutting plan, to try something new for a better future for us all. I wish you had a bigger budget to introduce even more diversity to these beautiful spaces.

    Reply
  17. Jane

    I really like the way that Millbrook is looking, I have enjoyed seeing it bloom in spring and I do not see it as unloved, I see it as alive with wildlife! I understand the concerns about the grass around the road areas and visibility, although with the current grass cutting scheme, as both a dog walker and driver around the village I have not encountered any issues. Thanks to all for a great job!

    Reply
  18. Rosie

    I think the village looks lovely. I agree the visibility on the new road is limited and would suggest it is kept short on the lakeside at the start of the road where you have to cross into the other lane to avoid parked cars. I have left the weeds outside my house as when I leave in the mornings there are 2 bees on them. Nature is beautiful and we cannot survive without it.

    Reply
  19. Beckie W

    I think a good balance is being achieved for the areas that are under the duty of the Parish Council to maintain. The playing field has a mown area and then paths through the uncut area for walkers. The verges next to the roads are short which enables good visibility. I don’t associate a neat lawn with a loved area, for me it is a missed opportunity to see wild flowers and grasses going to seed which then self-perpetuate. In the very dry couple of months we’ve had unman areas have sustained foliage, whilst mown areas are very brown and dead. I think it’s great that our community is able to accommodate the needs of drivers and young children to see and be seen, and the desires of many of us to see more pollinators, flowers and seeding grasses.

    Reply
  20. Josh Elleschild

    The current grass cutting routine is a great success, flora and fauna are flourishing and it has been widely noticed by so many.

    The world is rapidly changing and biodiversity is being hard hit hard by the impact we are having on the planet. If we want to maintain our way of living and have our children and grandchildren enjoy the world just as we have, we need accept that some changes are needed. A prim and controlled scenery maybe enjoyable for some, but i feel this is an outdated view and we should learn to enjoy the world as nature intended it.

    Reply
  21. Jan

    I love the way the grass has been left to grow longer. I agree that road signs etc need to be in clear view. I walk around the lake area several times a day and enjoy seeing the profusion of wildflowers that have started to appear. You are doing a good job. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Charlotte

      Happy to have the verges growing longer. The roads in the village are mostly 20 mph and if adhering to that you should be able to safely navigate and be aware of the possibility of pedestrians. It’s a changing world and one we need now more than ever to encourage biodiversity in. I’m sure people can afford to drive a bit slower for the benefit of nature.

      Reply
  22. John Knowles

    I would like to write in support of the present position taken by the Parish Council regarding the cutting of the verges, the edge of the lake and the park area.
    As a resident living close to the lake, it has been gratifying to see the changes in the variety of plant species and seeing so many butterflies and insects that attract a range of birds to the area. It has provided numerous habitats.
    As a dog owner, the long grass poses no problems. Close observation of my dog ensures any dog poo is easy to find and deal with. As for the possibility of my dog picking up ticks/fleas this can happen anywhere mainly in bracken not in the long grass.
    However, might I make a few suggestions:
    * extend the cut area to one and a half metres near to roads and paths where long grass impairs vision of the lake from the benches – cut that area back.
    * where long grass impedes vision around bends (especially where parking is permissible) cut back further to help the line of sight.
    * over the long term could we increase the number of species of shrubs, bushes, trees and flowers to further enhance this beautiful recreation/relaxation facility.

    Reply
  23. Nicki watts

    Millbrook is looking so unloved ….the grass needs cutting and tidying up ..

    Reply

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