Wildflower meadows and grass management

Pink and white wildflowers in a long grass field

We want a greener future and to protect and enhance nature and wildlife across our City.

In recent years, we have been establishing some natural grass areas across the City in parks and open spaces. This allows the grass to grow longer and aids growth of wildflowers and plants which will help to attract insects, birds, and mammals to create vibrant, species-rich environments.

Reducing mowing also allows native plants to flower which provides nectar for bees and other insects. The areas of longer grass will be cut and collected once a year in the autumn. This helps to encourage the development of flowering species which are so important to our wildlife. Whilst it may be perceived that 'weeds' and long growth of plants and flowers can look untidy, this approach has been adopted by many other Councils, and the wildflowers look visually attractive during the growing season, as well as supporting wildlife and our environment.

Where we do this on a small number of roadside verges, the bands along the edges of the road will still be mowed to keep any flowers or vegetation clear of the highways, and paths cut where appropriate.

In parks and open spaces, small paths are cut which reflect 'desire lines' of park users and larger areas are cut for recreational use such as picnics.

Despite the importance of wildflower meadows, the UK has lost 97% of its meadows in the last 100 years, and we want to see this reversed.

We are also working to phase out the use of chemical weedkiller (glyphosate) in our parks, play areas and open spaces.

List of sites with areas of naturalised grass/meadow

Parks and open spaces

  • Belton Hills
  • Blenheim Park
  • Bournes Green Park
  • Chalkwell Park
  • Edwards Hall Park
  • Elm Road Sports Ground
  • Friars Park
  • Gainsborough open space
  • Jones Memorial Ground
  • Leigh Cliffs East
  • Leigh Marshes
  • Mendip open space
  • Millennium open space
  • Priory Park
  • Shoebury Park
  • Southchurch Park
  • Southchurch Park East
  • Southend Cliff Gardens
  • St Laurence Park
  • Victory Sports Ground

Roadside verges

  • Blenheim Chase
  • Bournes Green Chase
  • Eastwoodbury Lane
  • Fairview Gardens
  • Highlands Boulevard
  • Kenilworth Gardens
  • Leigh Station
  • Ness Road
  • North Shoebury Road
  • Prittle Brook Greenway
  • Prittlewell Chase
  • Queensway (Grass area between Stanley Road and Queensway)
  • Royal Artillery Way
  • Sutherland Boulevard
  • Undercliff Gardens

All other roadside verges are cut to their usual maintenance schedule which is usually from March to October.

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