Late grass cutting or green space management is not the absence of lawn mowers but an adjustment to ground maintenance which is adapted around plant growth. These interventions take consideration of the life cycle of the plants and of the animal life around them.
The concept consists of allowing some overgrowth in a chosen space. The grass cutting is done once a year, around the month of September, to give plants time to reseed and the fauna to finish reproducing. By keeping the space natural, the surface becomes a reproduction area, a nesting place for animals, plants and insects. It represents a rich pollen ground for bees and butterflies.
It is often integrated into green space management policies in local communities, as in Indre, Cher or Mayenne (French) ; though there are many other examples.
The success of late grass cutting depends on a collective awareness and rigorous study. Training of staff involved is necessary because it requires a change of habits:
The areas closest to road traffic will only be cut as necessary, which is between 10 and 20cm off of a height of 1.20m if only to keep road safety. The height of the grass cutting will be the same for slopes and embankments. It has been proven that letting grass over grow by the gutters on the side of the road does not impede water drainage; it slows the process because it filters the water of potential pollutants, so it is not necessary to cut back drastically in these areas.
Additionally, systematically collecting the cuts after the cuttings is recommended to avoid over enriching the soil and disturbing balances. The products from grass cutting could instead be used to feed cattle or for compost which will then enrich green spaces.
Any tourism accommodation managers can get more information from the environmental office of their community, who may have integrated late grass cutting into their practices.
Translated from French by Holly Cooper Chima.
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