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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Grass cutting

Rural grass cutting

During this season, the first two cuts of rural verges were for safety purposes, with only visibility splays being cut, this will now be followed by a full width cut.

The guidance published by Plantlife states that if grasslands and verges are left uncut, even for just one year, their composition begins to change and species begin to decline.

The advice given is, if only one cut is possible in the year, this should be for the full width of the verge and be carried out during August and September. As well as supporting the health of the verge, it will enable easier access to utilities or other network assets should maintenance be required.

Urban grass cutting

Grass in towns and villages is cut by a 2 person gang using a ride on mower with flail and a strimmer. Each 2 person gang aims to cut the equivalent of nearly 4 football pitches a day.

34 Parish Councils cut grass in their areas on our behalf.

  

Frequently asked questions

 

Motorways and Trunk Roads are cut by Highways England

The A5 / A46 / A42 / A453 / A52 / A50 (J24 towards Stoke) / A14 / M1 / M69 / M42 and M6 are the responsibility of Highways England. You can report a grass issue to them by calling 0300 123 5000.

Rural grass cutting

Roads in between towns and villages (40mph and above) are classed as rural grass cutting routes, these are generally highway verges between village entry signs.

These are cut in a nominal 1 metre swathe from the edge of the carriageway or footway, to ensure that vegetation does not restrict visibility for highway users. 

The first two cuts of rural verges are for safety purposes, with only visibility splays being cut.

In September 2020 we undertook are first full cut in 5 years after following guidance published by Plantlife  www.plantlife.org.uk  which states that if “grasslands and verges are left uncut even for just one year their composition begins to change and species begin to decline”.  

This cut, as well as supporting the health of the verge and encouraging wildflowers, it will enable easier access to utilities or other network assets should maintenance be required.

Twelve parish councils across Leicestershire have signed up to our Wildflower Verge Scheme and are working hard planting and cultivating verges for their new wildflower verges to bloom next year.

Parish councils interested in joining the wild flower verge scheme can contact the County Council team.

The wild flower initiative and the changes to the management of rural verges between towns and villages in 2020 marked the largest reduction in the areas of rural verges the county council have cut, all to allow wildflowers to thrive and encourage pollinators.

Daffodils and Wildflowers

Our grass cutting teams cut around planted bulbs such as daffodils. These areas are not cut until around June, after the daffodil season has died down. This is usually around the 3rd cut of the season. If we’re informed of an unusual species of wildflower such as an orchid, we will take advice from Council’s Principal Ecologist and amend our mowing programme to avoid harm.

Private accesses are the property owners responsibility

A private access is defined as an access that goes back onto non-highway land. When we undertake a single swathe along the route we will continue the 1m swathe across the private access but we don’t cut back the visibility splay around the access, this is the property owners responsibility.

Weed spraying

We spray weeds in late May and late September. By law the weed killer that we use is no stronger than products sold at DIY stores.

Hedge cutting

Most hedges are privately owned and we are currently only responsible for cutting hedges in just 250 locations across the county. Routine cutting is restricted to between October and February to avoid bird nesting season and fit around the grass cutting programme. Hedges are only cut for safety reasons and not appearance, to ensure branches do not overhang the highway or footway.

Edging back requests

Edging back of footways is usually done outside of the grass cutting season between October and March.

 

 

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