Call out for volunteers to help with ‘biodiversity’ cuttings clear up in Cliftonville

Thanet Biodiversity group call out

An urgent call for volunteers to help rake the grass cuttings at St George’s Lawn in Cliftonville is being made by the Thanet Biodiversity group.

Group lead Peter Blem is making the appeal to clear the area tomorrow from 10.30am ready for council workers to then take away the piles.

The aim is to reduce the fertility of the soil which the cuttings create as this then encourages wildflowers to grow rather than thickened grass.

Peter said: “The thinking behind it is to reduce fertility of the soil by taking the cuttings away as it otherwise stops biodiversity taking hold.”

Peter says this method may mean wildflower seeds do not even need sewing as natural growth will be encouraged.

He added: “We need to get at least St George’s Lawn raked into two piles, one each side of Indoor Bowls Centre, by 3pm Friday, when Thanet council will collect. All help between now and close of Friday will be much appreciated. Many hands make light work and we will be making a big difference here.

Rakes, pitchforks and wheelbarrows are needed.

“If you can’t make it here then, please do the same near you, as this is a Thanet wide opportunity to remove the fertility, that prevents biodiversity thriving. By doing this we can turn it into the first crucial step for creating biodiversity in our open spaces. I know removing fertility and nutrition is counter intuitive, but it is the key to replacing long, thick, hungry grasses with the wildflowers that our pollinators and wildlife need.”

Find the Thanet Biodiversity facebook page here


  1. Where has this group consulted with the local residents about it’s plans it has done nothing which makes me really angry .This group needs to talk to residents and stop making decisions that not everyone wants. Lots of residents are really pissed off and angry by the coastal tree planting blocking views etc. I’d like to know what’s Peter’s and Thanet biodiversity environmental and horticulture qualifications are to run this biodiversity group ? The grass needs to be mowed we are not living in a meadow this a coastal walk on the Viking trail let’s not show how even more unkept out coastline is, to our much needed tourist economy. Looking forward to smelling dog poo in long grasses.

    • Angry local

      They does seem to be a growing vocal band of a small but vocal group who think they talk for us all.

      Thanet is a seaside area so naturally it will have a low tree count, as do all seaside areas. Now people want to add trees which isnt normal for this area.
      They seem to think that all the people wanted the whole of thanet uncut for mad. This is a tourist area and sea front areas need to be maintained by regular grass cutting.

      These groups seem to think all the people of thanet want is uncut grass, loads more trees and lots more art.

      These groups dobt speak for all of thanet.

    • Your anger is noted and if I have correctly guessed who you are, your voice was heard, preventing much of the planting funded by the community and specified by TDC. I also note you consider the climate emergency secondary to your right to never have any tree appear in your sea view. The grass needs to be mowed yes, but more than that the cuttings need to be removed, else we will have longer and thicker grasses, needing more mowing than TDC can afford. The climate is rapidly becoming more extreme, and our survival depends upon biodiversity being supported wherever it can be. Our open spaces have shown us all the biodiversity they can rapidly and naturally support. TDC have learned many lessons from “no mow May” and a far more refined, selective and sustainable result will spectacularly show itself in the years to come. Your anger may remain, but many lives will be enhanced but what we will have.

      • Quote “our survival depends upon biodiversity being supported wherever it can be” So why did you plant non native environmentally damaging trees that have no value to wildlife? Are you qualified to be making these decisions for our wild spaces and wildlife, or just a Youtube expert?

        • Every tree planted by us was specified by TDC’s tree officer. Every decision has been TDC’s. Yes I have driven change through community action, and I will continue to, but it is always in consultation with TDC as the legal title owner of the land.

      • Peter quote “TDC have learned many lessons from “no mow May”

        No peter what No May showed was the people claiming to know what’s best for thanet didnt know best !

        Why didnt the No Mow May brigade and TDC understand that you need low fertility soil for the wild flowers to thrive ? Why wasnt any soil samples taken ? Simple answer really they dont know as much as they think they do. You cant just let an area go uncared for. You need to work to get the environment right fir the wild flowers and insects to return.
        No Mow May was stupid and uneducated

        But no that’s not cut thanet for a month, making many look a complete mess. The area from George VI park to the lift in ramsgate was a bloody disgrace.
        The main tourist walk and cycling path from broadstairs to ramsgate and it was a disgrace.
        Parks left uncut impossible to pick up dog shit in 18” of thick grass, impossible for kids to play in fir danger of treading in shit

        For the whole of May thanet looked uncared for.

        These groups are forcing their views on thanet without thinking it through

        I am all for leaving more areas for wild flowers and insects but for heavens sake use your brains, test the soil ! And if in the tourist area still manage the edges etc

        • Largely agreed and “no mow May” was not driven by Thanet Biodiversity. We’re trying to make the best of it now, and hoping the powers that be, now realise its not as simple as “no mow May”.

          • Peter but what I dont understand is why No Mow May was followed so blindly . Surely the No Mow May if they are so keen on increasing wild flowers and insects should know the basics !! You need low fertility soil !! Sure TDC would have known this and the NMM Brigade. It’s the first thing you need to know !!

            These people convinced TDC to leave all the grass to grow long for a month. Did they really believe that turn grass areas back to more meadow like is just as simple as to stop cutting ?

            I suggest the No Mow May brigade start educating themselves, because I havent meet one person who thought not cutting from George VI park to the lift looked nice.
            I spoke with a few visitors and they want to know why the grass was such a mess. I said it’s down to a small group of people who for e their views on thanet.
            The visitors said they would never come back to thanet its looks a mess and uncare for.

    • Angry local,
      How anyone can be against tree planting and encouraging biodiversity in Thanet beggars belief. It’s 2021 and wildlife and nature are seriously under threat from habitat loss and the most greedy selfish population that has ever walked the planet.
      Wildlife and nature need our help more than ever before. The decimation of our wildlife populations are simply staggering, and any attempt to save our wildlife and nature must come before your selfish desire for a sea view.
      No mow may could have been handled better but at least it was attempt to help our ecosystem.
      Well done to the people who are actually trying to help. Every little helps and god knows our wildlife needs it

  2. Someone should have told the No Mow May brigade !

    No point what so ever in letting grass areas with high nutrient grow out of control for one month.

    All it did was allow a thick sward to out grow any flowers

    All that happen was it made thanet look uncared for and unloved. You simply cant do a blanket No Mow May.

    How anyone thought leaving all of thanet grass uncut for month was a good idea, good for tourism etc , I believe that wasnt a good look.

    I am not against leaving areas to be only cut twice a year but not all of thanet for one month !

    As Peter Blam says wild areas need to be of low nutrient levels. With most of thanet areas with a mow and leave policy, most areas will be high nutrient levels.

    So choose with care which areas can grow wild and which cant. Just take a soil sample. Than workout the cost of cut and remove.

    To recycle grass clippings would cost 1000’s in cost and labour, setting up a bonded area to stop the leakage etc.

  3. How do I get involved with Thanet biodiversity? I have loads of Japanese knotweed I would like to donate that needs planting up. We can plant it with all the other non-native trees Thanet biodiversity have planted on the coast.

  4. I hope you have enjoyed yourself piling the grass up, as a sure as anything you will not see any TDC staff at 3pm on a Friday. So you can have fun doing it all again on Monday, after the children have had their fun spreading it again for you. You could always have a nice bonfire, to get rid of it!

  5. Concerned

    And that’s the point , it’s what you want thats important ! I like our seaside areas and dont want trees planted there , it’s out of character with the area.

    It’s clear these groups are forcing their views onto thanet without thinking things through. Or they simple have enough knowledge !.

    I have seen a few single trees planted by the prom along cliftonville by the bowling club area etc.

    They look totally out of place , in a very exposed position. They arent many trees along there for one simple reason, its not the best place to grow trees.

    In very exposed places like that you would normally plant in groups of trees say 20 or 30 knowing at least half will die off.

    Again these people think they speak for the population of thanet, you dont.

    I went passed Dane Park yesterday it look a mess grass clippings everywhere, the football pitch left way to long and uncut. I bet the cutting time for TDC at Dane Park has increased by 100%. Cutting round the new trees must take hours.

    I am not against more trees in the right area but remember when planted in parks in mowed areas there is a cost to it. TDC are struggling to cut the normal areas let alone areas which now have trees to add cost and time to their mowing program.

    Personally I think the best plane is to planet more areas of say 50 or more trees making a small wooded area than single trees.

  6. Well done Peter! It’s clear to see you are trying your best. Unfortunately you have attracted replies from ignorant and selfish people who put the importance of their ‘sea-view’ above anything else. I suspect they are not spring chickens so won’t have to deal with the inevitable chaos that the climate crisis is going to bring, but they couldn’t care less as long as their view isn’t scuppered. If you think the climate crisis isn’t real, just tell that to the 100+ people who died in the last few days from the heat wave in CANADA! A whole town burnt to the ground. They are experiencing heat that would normally be seen in the middle East. We need to protect our future food supply and we will struggle if pollinator numbers drop too low. But hey, your children and grandchildren can all starve so long as you get your sea view.

    • Well said Realistic girl. Unfortunately the same people complaining about trees spoiling their sea view are probably the same people who have concreted over their front gardens for parking and paved over their back gardens so it’s low maintenance. These are the same people that have no interest in saving the planet.
      Thanet has the lowest level of tree coverage in England and it’s getting worse with each passing day. People should stop moaning about others who are actually trying to make a difference and perhaps spend their time and energy helping out the people who care about our planet and little corner of England.

      • I bet there are some of the tree brigade and no Mow may brigade which have paved their front gardens, have decking and I bet some even have plastic grass ! Lol

  7. A little bit of an over reaction but that is normal from this type of groups.

    It’s all about compromise something these hug a tree, no Mow may dont do !

    If a lot of the public dont want trees in an unnatural place ie on top of cliffs. They are entitled to moan.

    If you really believe people dont want to save the planet because of their sea view ? Instead of picking fights with people who dont like where you want trees, compromise, they are lots of areas in thanet.

    But I get the feeling these groups are abit militant it’s their way or you are ignorant and selfish. They dont want to work with vast majority of people.

    I dont think the sea front is the best place to planet trees, but I am not ignorant or selfish. But feel free to call me and other selfish etc.

    Just compromise people and work together, I am sure most want to make thanet a better place , but you do get the feeling that groups like the tree group , no mow may, want to force their views onto the population. I dont think that is the best way to go about things.

  8. Cutting grass in Thanet will not stop the Chinese digging coal mines, Thanet is a filthy mess and long grass just covers up the litter and poo problems

Comments are closed.