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Save Dales verges - CPRE

[Monday 05 June 2006]

THE local branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England has attacked Craven District Council for mowing roadside verges before nesting birds have had time to fledge their chicks or wild flowers have had chance to re-seed.

Every year the Highways Department and the Council show that they do not consider the Dales as a special place

CPRE letter to Craven District Council

Over recent years, the Craven branch of the CPRE has asked the district council to delay their verge-cutting programme until after mid-July - the practice in Cumbria - but branch chairwoman Hilary Fenten says this request has been ignored.

The branch has sent the following letter to the council:

"Why does Craven District Council not care about the special flowers growing in the Dales? Every year we send requests for the verges.

"Every year the Highways Department and the Council show that they do not consider the Dales as a special place. The flowers are cut down before having chance to reseed and the birds and small creatures have their young killed. If Cumbria can plan the cutting properly, why does Craven show so little respect for our wonderful Yorkshire countryside and its wildlife?

"A well-known Dales ecologist has written 'We would advise that no cutting takes place between mid-May and mid-July. Outside this period we would probably want regular cutting to take place as this would mimic the grazing patterns in traditional hay meadow.

"Survey work done across the Dales in general suggests that verges are becoming more rank or scrub dominated, probably as a result of a wrong cutting and nutrient runoff from adjacent fields."

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