A cut above the rest!
A remote control grass cutting machine (“Spider”) is to be tested on the steep Castle Banks on Thursday 27 July.
The structural stability of the banks due to rabbit warrens and the water uptake of some of the trees and the retaining wall at the bottom of the bank will be surveyed in September. Further work will include the inclusion of anchor points for remote controlled machinery and re-profiling of the banks, all to allow safe grass cutting.
The equipment which will be trialled at the castle on 27 August could potentially be used for other steep or difficult and inaccessible areas, once the results of the trial have been evaluated.
There will be consultation on the most effective way of maintaining the river banks. There may be areas where grass cutting would be more beneficial, for example where visitors may want to sit by the river bank, and benefits of leaving the grass to grow in certain areas. This can encourage new species of flora and fauna such as wild flowers, butterflies, kingfishers and voles, and also help prevent erosion of the banks by absorbing surface water runoff from nearby roads and pavements.
Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael said: “I am keen to see how the remote control machine works. It should make grass cutting much easier in inaccessible areas such as the castle banks and will vastly improve the look of the area.”
For 2018, the council is considering introducing a type of grass that is more easily managed in the longer term.