We have had a great response to this consultation, this is just a reminder that if you wished to comment but haven’t yet done so, please do before it closes on Friday at 9am.
The Parish Council promised to consult on the cutting of the Green prior to agreeing this year’s approach with the contractor. We are therefore writing to explain the current strategy and to seek people’s views.
We are consulting because, last year, we received complaints from some residents when, due to bad weather, the contractor was very late in cutting and collecting the hay crop.
Historically the Green was cut for hay once each year. However, from 2008 the Green was cut once a month in the growing season and the grass cuttings were not collected. This resulted in a tidy appearance and an almost complete loss of wild flowers.
A more complex mowing regime for different sections of the Green was then tried. However, since taking advice from HCC Environmental Department in August 2019, we have adopted their recommendations for a simplified regime of less frequent cutting to enhance wildflower diversity and to support pollinator species such as bees. Less frequent mowing has resulted in less noise and lower fuel consumption and, more importantly, a greater number and diversity of both insects and wild flowers. If this regime were to continue, we would be taking positive steps toward better environmental management in a central part of the Village Conservation Area, which is a designated Local Wildlife Site.
Keeping the options as simple as possible, we can either:-
a. Cut the whole Green once a month in the growing season to ensure a neat, managed look, or
b. Continue with the current programme of environmental protection and allowing wild flowers to grow
Please note: Whatever cutting regime is agreed, we will always cut a band all along the main road to provide a visibility splay for drivers leaving the driveways that cross the Green.
We have generally also cut a similar band along and next to the pavement, partly because some hedges have grown forward over the footpath so we have lost the full width of the path, forcing pedestrians and buggy/pram users onto the grass. We would certainly appreciate it if residents could keep their hedges trimmed right back to the boundary, so the tarmac path can be used to its fullest extent.
Although the Parish Council has a long lease of the Green and is responsible for its day to day management, the Council has in the past sought the advice of the ultimate owner, Herts County Council and, for your additional information, that original advice is attached – see especially the section entitled “Grassland Management Recommendations” and the accompanying map showing the location of sections A to I of the Green.
Please respond by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by dropping a note to the Parish Clerk, 1 Pond Lane, Hudnall, HP4 1UB by 9am on Friday 13th May so that we can discuss it at the next Parish Council meeting on Monday 16th at 7:30pm in the Village Hall.
(We will ask if we can leave a few hard copies at the Village shop for those who cannot receive email or print off easily)
Please indicate your preference
a. I prefer the green to be cut once a month ………………………….
b. I prefer the current wild flower protection approach …………………
Comments / Suggestions:-