Remote mower helps manage species-rich grassland in Rushcliffe Borough.

This piece was taken from the Notts Biodiversity Action Group web site.

Over the last 3 years, Rushcliffe Borough Council has been working with the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to manage areas of species-rich grassland that are difficult to access and as a result, tend to get overlooked. All these areas are within the borough of Rushcliffe and include steep slopes, which are unsuitable for volunteer groups or areas that are remote and inaccessible for machinery. To overcome this, a remote-controlled mower and brush cutter have been used on sites including the embankments of Bingham Linear Park, sections of The Hook Nature Reserve and Greythorne Dyke open space. To date, 14 sites across the borough of Rushcliffe have benefited from this work.

To ensure species-rich grassland maintains its biodiversity interest, it is important to remove some of the annual growth to prevent the site becoming too enriched. This also prevents scrub encroaching and creates open areas within the grassland to allow a diverse flora to be maintained. The work with the remote mower enables the maintenance of these diverse and increasingly rare sites which tend to support rare and unusual wildlife; one example is that of the Grizzled Skipper butterfly, a Nottinghamshire LBAP species that favours open habitat. The removal of scrub and the creation of scrapes and glades in sites such as Bingham Linear Park, has provided suitable habitat for the butterfly to thrive. Bill Bacon from Friends of Bingham Linear Park stated he was “particularly pleased at the amount of additional work that the remote mower allows the group to do on the site