My local council has introduced a policy of not cutting grass verges, to promote “habitats” for wildlife. In some places they have encouraged wildflowers to grow, which looks lovely. However, in most places they are allowing the verges and vanity strips to run wild with grasses.

Just the other day I realised why I have suffered from terrible hayfever in the last couple of years, making the link between it and the introduction of this no-cutting policy. I used only to have problems with oak trees, but recently it has spread to cover the whole summer.

A lot of the grasses growing are of the type which are positively dangerous to dogs, as the fine hairs can get into their fur, into their paws and into them, causing infections and sometimes death from where they migrate to. Not to mention the increased tick population, also hazardous to dogs (and humans in some cases).

I can almost understand such a policy in urban areas, but I am surrounded by forest and heath. I also originally assumed it was introduced during the pandemic purely because of limited staff resources, but it seems not. More likely they have realised how to save some money - whilst at the same time increasing our local taxes by 3-5%, at a time when inflation was still low. (I dread to think how much more they will want next year - we already pay the second highest rate in the country).

They council are, however, quite happy to allow large developments of new housing, destorying habitat in the process. Hypocrisy? I think so.