Lockdown could boost wild flowers You may already be spotting wildflowers blooming on roadsides, pavements and parks. These wildflowers or weeds to some people are a very welcome urban addition for pollinators and increase biodiversity. Plantlife has been urging councils for years to cut grass less often. It also wants them to delay cutting until flowers have had chance to seed. The charity says it has seen a shift in attitudes in recent years, but some councillors still say their citizens prefer neatly-manicured lawns and verges. Now Plantlife’s preliminary research suggests that municipal mowing has been among the first activities to be cut under the crisis. That’s partly because staff are sick or self-isolating, and partly to save money as budgets are squeezed. Plantlife’s Trevor Dines told the BBC that a search of local authority websites and social media suggested that more councils are now being jolted into a policy change so they can re-deploy ground staff to services such as emptying bins. He said: “We have seen an upsurge in members of the public complaining that their councils are cutting the daisies. These sort of comments used to be outweighed by people complaining about untidy grass verges, but it seems as though the balance has shifted. “Obviously we’re extremely worried about the Covid crisis and want it to end as quickly as possible. But if councils do change their methods because of the crisis, they might find it wins public support, which would be good for the future.” Among the councils registering changes due to the Covid crisis are: Lincolnshire “Grass cutting and litter picking are among non-essential services being scaled back.” Flintshire “All Council operated grounds maintenance, grass cutting and horticultural operations will be suspended until further notice.” Stockton-on-Tees Borough “Grass cutting will be restricted to minimum levels with the exception of areas where it is needed to ensure public safety – for example, to maintain lines of sight at road junctions.” Newcastle – “Grass cutting and shrub bed maintenance will cease for the time being.” Wigan – “The maintenance of non-essential grass cutting will be suspended for the foreseeable future. We have acted swiftly to redeploy staff to frontline services, such as bin collections.” More on this story here.