Progress…or is it?

I’m actually a qualified Landscape Architect, my early years were spent working in local authority dealing with planning applications and ensuring that the schemes submitted had planting and were beneficial to both residents and the environment.

The biggest bugbear was getting the developers to maintain these projects for future years.

They were kind of ok with doing the works …but committing to ten years of looking after the projects always made them complain.

Yet without maintenance many landscape projects will just fail.

They will get vandalised, they will get overrun with weeds and choked with litter. Many tree species will not be able to compete with alien species better adapted at thriving in poor light or low water levels. This results on single species monoculture growth with no diversity and zero benefit to the indigenous wildlife.

After leaving the local authority, I then had my own landscape practice where I submitted plans to gain permissions for development and worked for the very developers that were so problematic in my previous job.

Again, they were happy to provide the drawings and to commit to building the schemes …but didn’t want to maintain them afterwards.

The budgets that developers had to work with just don’t cover years of aftercare and they always wanted to pass them over to local authority maintenance as soon as they could.

Local authority budgets don’t cover this level of maintenance so there is always and argument as to who pays.

So …. we get to the point of the blog.

Recent articles about saving bees and insects have suggested that leaving grass uncut will help wildlife and encourage wildflowers.

The Developers dreams have all come true.

They now have a perfectly arguable case for doing nothing on their commitments to grounds maintenance.

Anybody that thinks this isn’t going to happen is being very naïve.

I’m sorry to be the one to break this news …but… ‘Not cutting the grass’ – does not mean that we will have wildflower meadows everywhere. What it means is that we will have scruffy unkempt verges trapping litter and dog excrement.

We will have an abundance of nettles and Japanese knotweed with Himalayan balsam and Giant hogweed interspersed with shopping trolleys and stolen bikes. Rats will thrive and vermin will overrun our estates.

The developers will simply book another foreign holiday with the money they’ve saved.

🤦‍♂️😒

Mike C

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