Win for Fife 'grassland vigilantes' as council reverses controversial rewilding scheme

A ‘grassland vigilante' group in a Fife village has scored a win over the council, after the local authority agreed to reverse its rewilding policy.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 8:25 am
The group of locals filled dozens of bags with cut grass.
The group of locals filled dozens of bags with cut grass.

The Mair in St Monans was one of the sites included in Fife Council’s rewilding policy, which meant it would have been cut once per year, despite the area being the main grassland leisure area in the village.

A band of locals complained about the overgrown grass and then took matters into their own hands, cutting it back and filling dozens of black bags with the cut grass.

And now, following a backlash from the locals, the council has agreed to revert back to its original grass cutting schedule.

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Darren Peattie, one of the residents involved, said: “People power always wins in the end. I am glad to see that Fife Council is listening to the communities it works for. Sense has prevailed – the people of St Monans has shown the almighty Fife Council how the system works. Fife Council represent the people and we won't be derailed by departments at Fife House.”

Mr Peattie said the community was behind the group, despite some people referring to them as ‘grassland vigilantes’.

He said they discovered needles amongst the overgrown grass, warning it could have been a danger to local kids playing in the area.

The community has also had the support of local councillor, Linda Holt.

She said: "All credit to Darren Peattie and members of the St Monans community for turning out to cut the Mair this year, and the Salt Pans last year. A true grassroots initiative, it shows how much East Neukers value their green spaces.

“Covid seriously limited the reach of Fife Council's two rewilding consultations, but with St Monans Community Council finally meeting again on zoom, the community will now have the opportunity for better communication with the Parks, Streets and Open Spaces service."

John Rodigan, senior manager at Fife Council, said: "Whilst there is widespread support for the Council's new grassland management initiative, we will always respond to community concerns and that is why the The Mair in St Monans will return to its original grass cutting schedule."