NPT Bee Friendly
In recent years, the loss of wildflower grassland habitat and the pollinating insects they support has become an issue of public concern. NPT Council has a responsibility to address the nature and climate emergencies and is also committed to protect, conserve and enhance our natural environment under the terms of the Corporate Plan, Biodiversity Duty Plan, NPT Nature Recovery Action Plan and Wales Pollinator Action Plan.
The Local Authority manages a significant amount of land as roadside verge through regular mowing and there is a significant opportunity to help pollinators and increase habitat in NPT through a change in management of some of this area.
With this in mind, A new approach to managing the verges and grasslands of NPT has been approved by the Council’s Regeneration and Sustainable Development Cabinet Board on 30th July 2021 and is being progressively implemented as resources allow.
This scheme is called ‘NPT Bee Friendly’.
The principles of this approach are:
- To increase the area and extent of wildflower grassland (i.e. roadside verges and larger meadow areas which are managed to encourage wildflowers and pollinating insects) in Neath Port Talbot County Borough, in support of the Council’s Biodiversity Duty and the NPT Nature Recovery Action Plan.
- To favour change of management over seeding or planting where possible, in order to encourage the native seed bank to flourish without introducing non-native species or those which would not naturally occur in the area.
Traditionally, our roadside verges in NPT are all cut every 2-3 weeks during the growing season i.e. late March to end September and the arisings are mulched and dropped on top of the grass. This fertilises the soil, encouraging further grass growth. As of 2021, at certain locations agreed with the Streetcare Services Section, we will be changing this management and instead encouraging the growth of wildflowers and reducing the frequency of required cuts through the use of ‘cut and collect’ machines. This will mean that in certain locations, you can look forward to a change in appearance from a short sward of green, to a more natural area, colourful with wildflowers and buzzing with life.
We are working with your ward councillors to determine the most appropriate areas where we can allow nature to thrive in your local area and we are keen to hear from any local community about how they think they can help us with the natural approach to verge management in their area. We ask you to let us know:
- Where you think an area would benefit from less cutting or where cutting is unnecessary
- If you would like to volunteer to help us look after one of the special NPT Bee Friendly Verges
- If you know of areas in your community that we currently mow regularly that would be suitable to establish a NPT Bee Friendly Verge
Look out for the NPT Bee Friendly signs around the county!