How nice to see that, following a successful trial, councillor Wendy Schmitt and Braintree District Council have persisted and secured a change in verge cutting throughout the district from twice a year to once in the autumn.

At the end of last year’s trial, all town and parish councils were invited to complete a feedback survey and a balanced view was obtained.

The programme will be rolled out across the district this year at the end of which a further consultation will take place to decide the way forward.

Rural verges are important corridors for wildlife, wildflowers and can help climate change.

Of course, we will have to make sure that road signs are kept clear of vegetation and the safety of road users isn’t compromised.

This extended trial won’t be popular with everyone.

There will be legitimate concerns.

The longer vegetation will hide litter and can conceal glass and other hazards which can be dangerous to children, pets and horses.

These issues wouldn’t be a problem if everyone took their litter home with them, but that’s a subject for another time.

Many rural areas don’t have footpaths, so residents have to walk on the verges through long and often wet vegetation or walk in the road.

Clearly not all verges will be suitable for a single cut and some cutting will be essential for highway safety.

However, I’m sure the wildlife and wildflowers will welcome the reprieve from spring to autumn, as will environmental charities, such as Plantlife and Keep Britain Tidy.

I, for one, look forward to being rewarded with colourful roadside displays to cheer my journeys throughout the district.

Well done Wendy and Braintree Council.

Councillor Paul Euesden
Braintree District Council, Rayne Ward, Heslyn, Dunmow Road, Gt Bardfield