December 30, 2013 at 10:50 pm #153452
Need some examples of new cost effective ways of managing public open space such as highway verges, countryside sites and amenity areas. We are trying to do our bit here in Dorset but welcome others.
TonyDecember 31, 2013 at 1:33 am #153461
Is austerity an issue ? If so, you’re going to run up against entrenched aesthetics should you decide to let an area return to nature (abandon).
And likely, the trial policy that allows this new maintenance method will be revisited should the politicians begin receiving complaints from the public about how everything is now a disgrace.
I know this as I work for a state transportation dept.
Please give a one or two more detailed examples of the problem, along the current maintenance methods. Also, add a google maps/earth .kml to your message so we all can explore your management area.December 31, 2013 at 12:45 pm #153460
Thanks for your interest and yes how we manage public perception is a key issue. One detailed example is the fact there is now little revenue for ongoing grass cutting in the county such as on highway verges which do need cutting especially on visibility sight lines. We are running some experiments with semi parasitic wildflowers which we hope will reduce the fertility of the grasses and add some biodiversity benefits. We are also hoping the find funds to trial topsoil removal down to mineral subsoil/rock. The area we cover is the whole of the county of Dorset. The link below goes to our interactive map of the county which I hope helps give you an idea of our area.
RegardsDecember 31, 2013 at 10:20 pm #153459
Funny thing about money. The politicians have it for things they want, but never seem interested in continuing the funding for things already bought. New = sexy.
The trial to remove topsoil should be interesting. You may find an increase in erosion at the edges of the removal area brings about a different type of maintenance work that ultimately has no cost savings.
Has tilling the edges been considered? A roller followup would be necessary, but the vegetation regrowth would be slowed considerably. Erosion would also need to be monitored.
Herbicide use would just be a shift in costs from labor, but with the added benefit of public ire !!
Roadside maintenance is always difficult since safety of the traveling public is number one. Maybe you could engrave it on a hammer and present it to those instituting the cuts.January 1, 2014 at 1:51 am #153458
Sheep or goats?January 2, 2014 at 9:41 am #153457
Yes very interesting idea and a great way to ‘eat the view’ if we add in the benefits of supporting local food markets and understanding where our food comes from.
ThanksJanuary 2, 2014 at 10:15 am #153456
Like the idea in the last sentence…this would be very tempting sometimes!!January 2, 2014 at 12:14 pm #153455
Police headquarters at Bievres (Essonne), near Paris, use goats rather than hippies to chew their grass. Following article is in french, but I’m sure you can find similar practices info in english through a quick search.
Here, video of 4 sheep arriving to rule their new 2,000sqm turf, in Paris as well.
They say they will extend this scheme to other areas as well, but do not give further details.
I’m sure England has plenty of similar experiences as well, could be more seductive to convince your folks back home…January 2, 2014 at 2:42 pm #153454
Great to see other people in Europe trying this out and this will encourage me in my efforts to persuade the decision makers
ThanksJanuary 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm #153453
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