COUNCIL gardeners have courted controversy by cutting back sections of Rotherham’s popular River of Colour by giving it a mid-summer cut.
The authority said two Sunday cutting sessions around Rotherham — one last weekend and another to follow this weekend — would improve visibility at 30 busy junctions, tackle weeds and ensure a fuller floral spectacle later in the summer.
But some social media users have criticised the move, saying poppies, cornflowers and rape flowers had all been sacrificed to strimmers.
Twitter user Darren Lakin called the cutting-back “absolutely shocking and disgraceful”, posting before-and-after photos of the central reservation.
Nigel Short agreed, saying: “What’s the point spending all that money to create that environment, only to cut it back?”
The council said trimming the eight-mile stretch of wildflowers would to reduce weed growth and ensue the wild flowers will be at their best later in the summer.
Steve Hallsworth, the council’s leisure and community services manager, said: “Cutting back the reservations now will help reduce any weed growth and avoid problems with visibility for drivers.
“The wild flowers should then return in time for a good display later in the summer and — weather permitting — through to November.
“However, if there are any areas that are flowering particularly well at present, we will look to leave those uncut so as not to disappoint people who are enjoying the current display.”