ANGRY residents are calling on council chiefs to give them back their green space which has been turned into a wildlife site.
Families living in Millfield in Seaton Sluice say young children no longer have anywhere to play in the street after Northumberland County Council stopped cutting the grassed area.
Officials at the local authority have decided instead to let the grass grow and for the area to become a wildlife haven to attract a range of flowers, insects, birds and more.
But nearby residents say they do not want this as it now means children have to cross the busy A193 road to get to the nearest grassed area.
Children have started a petition calling for the council to cut the grass, and have already got more than 200 names.
Elaine Erskine, who lives in the street, said: “Holywell Dene is less than two miles away, we don’t need a wildlife area.
“The children don’t have anywhere to play.
“There used to be a big open space for them to play on.
“They either have to cross a busy main road or there is the field behind the school, but that is fenced and not accessible.
“Plus, if children are playing on this area of Millfield, we can keep an eye on them from our houses.”
She added: “The county council stopped cutting the grass about a month ago.
“It’s so overgrown that even dog walkers won’t use the area as any dog muck is instantly lost in all the deep grass.
“I’ve raised the issue with the local councillor, she has tried to get the council to change their minds but there is nothing else they can do.
A spokesperson from Northumberland County Council said: “2012 has been a very challenging year for grass cutting.
“The grass grew very quickly in the spring and then heavy rain and waterlogged ground conditions have made it very difficult to keep up with the grass cutting schedule and cut all areas effectively.
“However, in this, as well as other areas of the county, we are looking at the most effective ways of maintaining grassed areas within the resources the council has at its disposal.
“We consulted residents nearby earlier in the year about orchard and wild flower planting, and we have listened to their concerns and views.
“We plan to continue to cut a good part of the grass, but for some parts we plan to leave some of the grass longer, cutting paths through it for the most frequently used routes.”