Grass cutting has become a year-round chore as the UK experiences record-breaking temperatures, a scientist said today.
Tim Sparks, of the Natural Environment Research Council, said the mild winter between November and February over the past five years means around 35 per cent of homeowners in the UK are mowing the lawn in winter.
This compares with 20 years ago when grass would grow only in milder areas such as the Scilly Isles during the winter months.
Grass needs a minimum temperature of 5C to grow and this January, the second mildest on record for the UK, averaged 5.9C.
Dr Sparks said: ‘Traditionally people would have started cutting grass in March and finished in October but it has definitely changed remarkably now. You can see that from these figures.
‘If a third of the population is cutting grass in the winter months that’s a huge change.’
He added: ‘By this time last year records show grass cutting from as far north as central Scotland and I imagine the same is going to be true this year.’
Council workers have been out in force cutting the grass in balmy Christchurch, Dorset, and John Lanyon, head gardener of the National Trust’s Knightshayes House near Tiverton, Devon, has also been forced to start cutting the lawns six weeks earlier than normal.
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