A new policy in Powys is seeing grass verges left intact to make them better for local wildlife.

Powys Council has seen an increase in public awareness about habitat conservation on roadsides, and a meeting heard that its response has been to try to strike a balance between cutting the grass for road safety purposes, and leaving it to grow to encourage wildlife.

Powys County Council’s contracts manager Brian Price told councillors:  “The balance is switching, more people want areas left than wanting areas looking like bowling greens.

“There are quite a few towns and community groups where we have agreed not to cut.

“Urban verges, which are inside the speed limit are due for cuts in May, July and September.

“As a trial this year, we have reduced it to a safety cut.

“A good example of that is in Presteigne, we’ve left a lot of verges especially around the bypass. They set up a treasure hunt to find flowers and that was really good and something we should promote a little bit more.”

He believed that due to the coronavirus lockdown, people had become more accepting of the changes and he hadn’t received poor comments.

Newtown Councillor – and the town's Mayor – David Selby, had noticed work taking place at council-owned areas in his ward and the workers had cut around wild flowers.

Cllr Selby said: “Is there more opportunity for us to develop biodiversity areas?

“Are there examples I could show residents to persuade them to allow that to happen?”

Mr Price answered: “Housing estates are the places we are looking at, why strim around a tree when we can have one metre of wild flowers around it?”

Mr Price added that if people wanted to keep wild flower verges they should discuss it first with their town or community council.

In April, celebrity renowned television nature expert and Montgomeryshire resident, Iolo Williams, took to social media to praise the council for allowing the grass to grow and encourage pollinators.