Readers of the Epsom Comet have expressed their views on the ongoing debate regarding grass cutting services in Epsom and Ewell.

EEBC said earlier this week it was considering cutting grass areas under its jurisdiction in the borough less to help promote biodiversity among other reasons.

A lack of grass cutting during the coronavirus quarantine has encouraged growth in many of the grass areas and roadsides in the borough, sparking a debate among residents about what to do now the lockdown measures are being slowly lifted.

In a 24 hour poll held via the Comet's Facebook page, a clear majority of the more than 200 readers who took part — 58 per cent — said they supported the idea to cut the grass less often.

"Leave the verges! They look so lovely," Lianne Edmonds commented underneath the poll.

Comet reader Clare Bailey agreed:

"Definitely a great idea to leave some areas more wild and would be fantastic if they could add wild flowers so that roads and parks could become insect highways!" she commented.

On the other side of the debate, residents offered their support for continuing to cut the verges.

"Maybe stop trying to build on anything and everything and keep mowing the verge," Roly Matthews reader said.

Others offered a view that examined the benefits of cutting verges on smaller versus larger roads.

"Less cutting on grass verges on side streets would be ok but not sure on main roads," Brenda Turner said.

Your Local Guardian: Epsom Downs. Image via Downs. Image via

"However, if wild flowers/seeds were encouraged in all areas, would agree to that.

"Bumble bees are declining as are small wild birds due to their habitat being removed," she pointed out.

Others also mentioned declined wildlife and the climate emergency situation, which EEBC acknowledged in a declaration last year.

"Definitely don't cut the verges. There's a bit of a climate emergency happening right now I hear..A terrifying collapse in insect numbers - loads less bees to pollinate our food, less insects which mean less less birds," Philip Deacon commented.

"Nature really needs all the help it can get so I'd be nice if the council was doing this one little thing. Save the petrol.

"Save the bees, plants and bugs we need to survive. Promote a bit of balance with nature. Wild flowers and grasses look awesome," he said.

Your Local Guardian: Alexandra Recreation Ground. Image: EEBCAlexandra Recreation Ground. Image: EEBC

EEBC said its plans to cut the extra growth witnessed during the lockdown period were taking longer than usual.

In a statement released on Thursday (May 28) that also acknowledged the debate among residents, EEBC said:

"Due to the recent sunshine and rain, the grass has grown rapidly and has become very long in some areas.

"Council teams are working as quickly as possible to complete the first cut, but due to the length of the grass this is taking longer than usual."

Councillor Neil Dallen, chair of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee, cited biodiversity as a central cause that was encouraging the council to look at cutting less often.

"We always get feedback when we start cutting the grass and this year’s views have highlighted the positive shift in thinking that has been taking place about the importance of protecting the environment and promoting bio diversity," he said.

"The council already do a lot to maintain and enhance biodiversity within the borough and we recognise that the roadside verges are often home to a wide range of plants, insects and other animals.

"With this in mind, we are currently investigating ways to improve highway verge biodiversity in future years," Cllr Dallen added.