Council chiefs have been blasted as “lazy” for “cutting corners” in maintaining public parks.

Residents from across North Ayrshire have been complaining about the condition of their green spaces after maintenance crews left grassy areas half-finished.

But council bosses say they are deliberately “taking a relaxed approach” to maintaining grass where there is “low footfall” across North Ayrshire as part of its new Biodiversity Strategy.

Council chiefs say the new strategy ‘encourages the growth of native species of flowers, which in turn encourages insects and bees, attract birds and the cycle continues and flourishes.’

NAC says the new approach was “backed by communities” when they were asked about how Streetscene’s budget should be spent.

However residents have hit out on social media about the policy after seeing half-cut patches of grass in their areas.

Tom Boyd said: “North Ayrshire Council (is) not fit for purpose. They will say that it’s to help with the wildlife, or hide the dug s***. Can’t afford the petrol for the lawnmowers.”

Margaret Wilson: “Yes that’s all very well but it also increases the risk of ticks, which my wee dog caught. Not very nice.”

Linda McColm said: “The town and parks are a mess, get your act together NAC.”

Kathleen Osborne said: “Broomlands the same grass half cut, left lying on paths it’s a disgrace. Path up station Brae so bad it’s hard to walk on the pathway as the bushes are so overgrown. But some so cial media users were positive about the policy change.

James Kelso said: “The tall grass is home to insects of all sorts. The tall grass promotes biodiversity. That’s a good thing.

Carolyn McCleary added: “Longer grass has to be left for conservation purposes.” NAC say the main areas of relaxed grass cutting are sections of Irvine Beach Park, Almswell Park, Stevenston Shore, selected banking and areas of low footfall or areas that are difficult to access.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “We hope it will let wild flowers grow in their natural environment and therefore let associated wildlife, particularly bees, flourish and thrive in their natural environment

“Some of the areas we are letting grow are a vital haven for many bees, butterflies, birds, bats and bugs. This approach was widely supported during our engagement exercises.”