Kilkenny neighbourhoods get a buzz from council ‘cutbacks’
Kilkenny County Council is hoping to create a buzz about the county as part of a new initiative.
The local authority’s Parks Department is reducing the amount of grass cutting in parts of the county in an effort to give our native bees a helping hand.
Reduced mowing allows wildflowers already in the grass to bloom and provide a valuable food source for bees and other pollination.
Experts agree that inadequate food supply is a major cause of pollinator declines. Land management practices mean that our landscape often doesn’t provide the abundance and diversity of habitats and food sources that they need to survive.
With this in mind, the council has identified a number of areas where they will reduce mowing to encourage the growth of wild flowers and adjacent hedges.
Areas such as the Ring Road in Kilkenny, the new Ferrybank Park, as well as two large meadows in Dukesmeadows and Bishopsmeadows in Kilkenny will be part of the new programme.
An annual cut will be carried out in these areas in late summer and early autumn, removing the cuttings reducing the soil fertility which is preferred by wildflowers.
In April and early May especially, flowers such as dandelions and clovers in lawns and road verges, and willow, blackthorn and hazel in hedgerows are so important.
“These early flowering plants provide essential early season forage for hungry bees emerging from hibernation. Some of the last remnants of old meadows are at the base of hedgerows and on our roadside verges.
Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr. Andrew McGuinnes, welcomed the initiative, adding: “I encourage everybody across the county to get on board adding this is about all of us, local authorities, farmers, schools, community groups and businesses coming together to try to create an Ireland where pollinators can survive and thrive.”