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How we manage our grass

What grass do we manage?

Our teams manage around 1,000 football pitches worth of Council owned land across Plymouth. This includes sports pitches, parks, play areas, wildlife meadows, roadside verges and community spaces.

Plymouth Meadows 2020 - Short Cut from Fotonow CIC on Vimeo.

When the grass will be cut

You will see us cutting grass between March and September but not every grass area needs the same cutting regime.

In our parks and in local areas where grass is used for recreation, we cut grass regularly depending on the ground and weather conditions. 

Grass that is not used for sport or recreation will not receive full cuts and will be managed for nature instead. 

We are working with nature, sometimes the cutting cycle can start earlier or later during the year depending on ground and weather conditions.

How the grass will be cut

  • Grass that is used for recreation is cut on a regular close-mow cycle
  • sports pitches are cut on a suitable cycle to maintain conditions for play in season.
  • areas of grass that are not used for recreation or sport are we will let the area naturalise and the grass grow longer. 

Grass banks and verges are more use to insects and wildlife than they are to people. We will keep edges tidy on these areas by mowing a managed edge. We also have over 100 enhanced wildlife meadows across the city.

Grass management map

We have a map to show which areas of grass we will be cut and which bits will be left for nature.

  • pink areas will be cut on a grass cutting cycle
  • blue areas will only have the edges cut
  • red areas will be cut once a year as they are designated wildlife meadows.

Plymouth grassland - Overview

  • over 700 hectares of grass
  • 60 per cent managed for people
  • 40 per cent managed for nature
  • 76 sports pitches
  • 120 wildlife meadow sites
  • 22 formal parks
  • 127 play areas
  • Over 2,000 roadside verges and other amenity space.

Benefits for people and wildlife

  • increase plant and insect species diversity
  • increase carbon capture
  • more opportunities for
    • connection with nature
    • interest and colour in urban environments
    • staff to do other green estate works.

Here are a playlist of videos that we produced in 2022 to show the effect that our policy was having on nature.

Plymouth grass land overview

Letting grass grow longer is better for nature. It stores more carbon in the soil and doubles the species of plant and insect life which helps us combat climate change.

Tell us what you think

If you want to tell us about the benefits or issues you have seen. We will listen to your views and review all comments about the management regime.

Report issues if you do not think we have met the standards set out.