- Changes to grass cutting, weed spraying and treatment of noxious weeds across Surrey
- Further details
- Grass cutting programmes
- Grass cuttings
- Litter picking
Changes to grass cutting, weed spraying and treatment of noxious weeds across Surrey
From 1 April 2023, we, Surrey County Council, will take over responsibility for grass cutting, weed spraying and treatment of noxious weeds across the whole of the county to ensure a consistent approach across all areas of Surrey. We will ensure our highway verge maintenance contributes to our greener futures objectives and provides a greater ability to support the national Blue Campaign which encourages councils and residents across the UK to find suitable land to let nature take over and grow wildflowers by reducing grassing cutting.
With 41% of insect species in decline and only 3% of wild grassland remaining in the UK, we want to protect Surrey's future for upcoming generations to enjoy. By managing our 3,000 miles of verges and our roundabouts differently we hope to make a significant impact by increasing biodiversity, helping wildlife to thrive and encourage more carbon absorption. We will also actively trial and switch to alternatives to conventional weed spraying as technology develops.
We will not maintain shrub beds, flower beds, hedges, roundabouts that have sponsorship or cut any grass which is part of the Blue Campaign. The standard across the whole County will be four urban cuts, two rural cuts and one weed spray treatment per annum. Whilst there will be some compromises, we hope to achieve a balance between promoting and supporting biodiversity with the needs of road users and efficient use of resources.
Grass cutting programmes
We will be uploading our grass cutting programmes onto our website when ready, but we cannot give specific dates for when we will cut the grass as it depends on weather conditions, how fast the grass grows and operational considerations. However sightlines at junctions will be cut as often as necessary for safety. The main cutting season is from April to September although we may start cutting as early as March with a final cut as late as October.
We do not collect grass cuttings following mowing but they should be spread evenly over the surface. Any cuttings on the footpaths or roads after mowing will be blown back onto the verge. We acknowledge and understand the advantages of removing grass cutting but raking up, loading, transporting and getting rid of grass cuttings would also increase the cost of the grass cutting substantially. Trials of vehicles that can both cut and collect grass are ongoing and being monitored in other areas, as it is something we could look to do in the future but at this moment in time, we will not be doing this.
Litter picking remains a responsibility of the District and Boroughs. We will continue to work closely with them to ensure that, wherever possible, litter picking can be carried out before we cut the grass.