Gold Medallists Sought For Blooming Road Verges
The Highland Council wants members of the public to let them know where the most flowery road verges are in their local area with a view of looking to change cutting regimes to maximise the variety of flowers growing there.
Chairman of TEC Services Committee, Councillor Graham Phillips said: "Safety is of course of paramount importance on roads, so cutting regimes will only be altered when it is safe to do so. All the verges along sightlines and at junctions will remain cut short, however there are lots of other areas that could have their cutting regime altered to benefit the wildflowers there, which will in turn the insects that feed on them. We are not asking for a detailed report, just a quick and easy survey of the variety of colours you see as you pass by in a car or walking."
The proposed changes in management are having a single cut with either an early, or a late summer cut and also varying the height of the flail so that low growing species aren't cut but the taller, more competitive species are. The changes in management are likely to be cost neutral, but will benefit the biodiversity of the verges particularly the plants and their pollinators such as; bees, butterflies and moths.
Scotland TranServ who manage the verges on the trunk roads in Highland have altered their cutting regime and some sites such as the A830 at Corpach and the A9 Causeymire, have had fantastic displays of wildflowers in the verges due to this. There has also been a trial on some of the Council maintained roads in Caithness through an initiative between the Caithness Biodiversity Group and The Highland Council, which again has resulted is some great displays of wildflowers on the verges.
Anyone wishing to take part should send the information about the best road verges in their area to the Council's Biodiversity Officer, Jonathan Willet. He said: "Most verges have white and yellow flowers on them, but there are also red, blue, violet and pink that are commonly seen. If you know of verges that are good for orchids or Cuckoo Flower or other flowers that are out earlier in the year then you can let us know about them as well."
Jonathan will need details on the location, either a name or number, the road junction it is nearest to, or a grid reference and a description of the variety of colours or species of flowers found there. He can be contacted by telephoning 01463 702274 or e-mailing email@example.com
The Highland Council is this week launching a recruitment drive for 140 extra nursery staff as it prepares to implement an increase in childcare provision from August 2014. As part of the implementation of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, all three and four year olds in Scotland will be entitled to 600 hours per year of early learning and childcare from August.
From 28th April 2014, The Highland Council’s Recycling Centres will no longer accept waste associated with commercial or trade activities (i.e. work carried out for business or profit) such as household clearances, furniture removals and handyman or gardening services.
Sam MacNaughton, The Highland Council’s Head of Transport and Infrastructure today (Friday) retires after 44 years service in local government during which time he has secured many millions of pounds of investment in the Highlands to improve the Highland transport network. Sam, who hails from Lochaber, is married to Anne and they have three daughters, Mairi, Sarah and Chirsty.
The Highland Council’s Trading Standards Officers are warning sun-lovers bound for Turkey not to be caught out by a new visa system which requires for a visa to be applied for before travel. Britons have always been issued with a visa stamp in their passports on arrival for a £10 fee, but this will begin to come to an end from 11 April 2014, meaning visitors will have to apply online for an electronic visa (e-Visa) before travel.
Highland Councillors are united in their support for proposed new legislation aimed at cutting accidents on our roads involving young drivers. Leaders of all political groupings on the Council back the introduction of a Graduated Driver Licensing system for new drivers in Scotland, which would restrict their permissions in driving unsupervised until they have gained adequate experience.
The Highland Council has warmly welcomed publication of a report by The Care Inspectorate of their recent inspection of children’s services in the Highlands. This inspection, which took place in October and November 2013, covered the range of services in the Council area that provide services to children, young people and families, including education, health, social work, police and the voluntary sector.
The Highland Council today (Tuesday 1st April 2014) welcomes the commencement of the High Hedges (Scotland) Act, which brings into being new powers to resolve high hedge disputes between neighbours. Subject to certain criteria, people across Highland are now able to apply to the Council for a 'High Hedge Notice' where a hedge on neighbouring property is having an adverse impact on the enjoyment of their home or garden as a result of loss of light.
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Drew Hendry has praised the “stunning” success of the Council’s Homeless Prevention team in achieving a 53% reduction in homeless presentations and a 33% reduction in the use of temporary accommodation since their creation in June 2011. Speaking at the Highland Homelessness conference in Nairn today (Wednesday) Councillor Hendry revealed that the team has worked with 4,269 households, recording a 65% "success" rate in terms of homeless presentations prevented.
A new leadership group has been set up to drive forward a Highland Science Academy that will be a catalyst for bringing new jobs and ground-breaking educational and IT advances to the region. The move brings together The Highland Council, Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the University of the Highlands and Islands in a landmark partnership that will deliver a new and innovative programme of work-based learning, ranging from pre-school to higher education.
The Highland Council has reviewed its Community Challenge Fund one year after its introduction and agreed measures to encourage and support more community groups to bid into the £1 million fund. Three community groups have applied successfully for funding.
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