Tallinn authorities start mowing public areas, at least in Lasnamäe

Drought-like conditions in spring and early summer prompted the City of Tallinn to hold off the mowing activities which would normally take place at the time of year, while this tied in also with theories that constant mowing should be dialed down, in the interests of biodiversity.

While these discussions have been ongoing since 2016, "Aktuaalne kaamera" reports, there has never been such extensive of a mowing break as this summer.

Over a two-and-a-half month period, the parks and lawns of the capital have started profusely to sprout with not only grass, but also weeds of all kinds; the mowing machines have now sprung into action, in the residential district of Lasnamäe at least.

Residents of the capital have been divided on the matter, with some seeing in an un-mowed zone a patch of land which is not being maintained properly, while others see a wealth of biodiversity.

Initially, only the most critical places are planned to be mowed, so many overgrown areas will remain as they are for the meantime (see gallery above).

City of Tallinn landscape architect Kristiin Kupper said the process has been a learning curve, while the phenomenon of climate change, "which leads to heat islands and the loss of species diversity, taller grasses promote lower temperatures and also a greater richness of life."

Lasnamäe District Elder (Vanavallem) Julianna Jurchenko (Center) said that local residents have been positive of the development, adding that in those areas where trimmed back vegetation is needed to promote road safety, for instance near intersections or schools and children's playground, the long grass is being trimmed in any case.

Andry Piiroja, outdoor maintenance project manager at HKP OÜ, a private company with the tender to carry out the work, says his firm has more than 100 hectares of grassy areas under maintenance in Lasnamäe.

However, a long interval between mowing does not lead to savings for the company, he said.

"We have to mow it three times [once the vegetation has grown beyond a certain point], and it's not pretty when you take a look at the result either," he told AK.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera', reporter Reet Weidebaum.

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