Renfrewshire Council has launched a consultation on the proposed creation of biodiversity areas in Renfrewshire.

Because of the need to focus on essential services during the Covid-19 lockdown, grass cutting was paused during the lockdown period and this led to grassed areas growing longer than normal, while at the same time encouraging more wildflowers and wildlife. The council has received positive feedback on these changes and has identified an opportunity to develop new biodiversity areas within its communities. The council wants to create these areas to encourage wildlife to live there and for natural plants and flowers to blossom, and  will be adding to areas where required to improve the way they look and ensure that they can continue to flourish for years to come.

The council’s technical officers have identified and visited a number of proposed biodiversity areas, a maximum of ten in each community, to make assessments based on growing conditions, suitability and prominence of wildflowers and wildlife. The council now wants the local community to read these assessments and decide whether the designated areas are suitable to become biodiversity areas and to let it know any other areas the community believes would be suitable.

Any new biodiversity areas would not be left to grow out of control. They would be maintained and cut at the end of the growing season to increase the variety of insects, plants and wildflowers able to flourish. Where additional biodiversity aids, such as wildflower seeds, are required then these will be added; a number of areas suitable for this have already been identified. If a community decides that an area is not suitable for this treatment, it will be returned to the grass cutting programme.

The council is also asking the community to identify other areas where biodiversity could be encouraged, e.g. road verges, roundabouts, parks, so that it can shape future proposals that support the views of local people.

One of the proposed areas is on the east side of Penilee Road, between School Road and Atholl Crescent, and two are at the east end of Barshaw Park.

To take part in the consultation, go to Renfrewshire Council’s website. The closing date for completing the consultation survey is midnight on Sunday September 13.

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