Council's lawn mowing doesn't cut it

Last updated 18:03 04/12/2013

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The sun is out, the grass is growing and the people of Wellington are, as it turns out, not that happy about it.

More than 100 people have phoned the city council since the start of November to complain about the grass being too long at some of the city's parks and sports grounds.

Now the council is appealing to the people of Wellington to cut it some slack while it cuts the grass, which is extra-long thanks to a nicer-than-usual spring.

The council's mowing team manager, David Grace, said a perfect combination of warm temperatures and rain combined to produce the best spring grass growth the city had seen for years.

The grass was growing so fast that his team could not keep up and would take longer than usual to complete its scheduled runs during December.

''Please bear with us. The teams are utilising all available resources to bring this under control as quickly as possible,''

Grass on sports fields was growing just as rapidly as is was on roadsides.

Julian Emeny, the council's sports fields manager, said the mowing team was working long hours to keep the

grass down, especially on cricket outfields, which were taking priority.

''We hope sports clubs understand the situation and ask that players be patient.''

Council spokesman Richard MacLean could not say exactly how big the mowing backlog was, but he did not think it would cause any disruption to weekend sports.

''Any cricket grounds with long grass, we're attacking. So I think its safe to say that by the weekend, there won't be any cricket balls disappearing into 10 inch-long grass.''

Some berms were looking a bit longer than they should but the council had no plans to follow Auckland Council's lead and start ordering residents to mow them, Mr MacLean said.

"Wellingtonians are already pretty good at doing that. We don't normally have to tackle berms."

According to Niwa, Wellington's temperature was 0.7 degrees Celsius above average and rainfall was 28 per cent above normal during spring.

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