Civic gardeners in Carlisle are reportedly poised to go on strike after having their hours increased because grass is growing more quickly as a result of global warming.
Council officials said warmer and wetter weather has led to 25% more growth than in 1990, reports the Daily Mail.This has extended the cutting season, so lawns and verges need trimming 15 times a year instead of 12.
New contracts compel the gardeners to work a 44-hour week during the spring and summer instead of their traditional 37 hours a week.
But the staff are unhappy, saying the updated work patterns are forcing them to walk up to five miles extra every day with their mowers to keep the grass trim.
Council gardener Mick Walsh told the Daily Mail: “It’s already affecting the workforce. People are getting tired, and irritable. It’s a hard job.
“The extra hours during spring and summer would add an extra five miles walking to our day. Two lads took early retirement because of this.”
Carlisle’s environment director Mike Battersby defended the increase in hours, saying that mowing patterns set up 15 years ago were out of date.
Chris Prior, head of horticultural sciences at the Royal Horticultural Society, backed the council’s verdict. He said higher levels of carbon dioxide, needed by plants to make nutrients, could explain the faster growth.