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Trees, hedges and grass cutting

Report dangerous, overgrown or damaged trees, hedges and verges, including uncut grass, grass clipping collections and asking for help with garden maintenance.

Can I report an issue with a tree or hedge?

Yes, but if the tree, shrub or hedge are on private land and are causing an issue to the highway or a footway we may require the owner or occupier of the land to lop or cut it so as to remove the cause of danger, obstruction or interference. 

Please note: we will not remove healthy trees or hedges unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as there is proof that the tree is causing subsidence damage.


When will my report be dealt with?

All non-urgent major works are carried out between September and March when birds have finished nesting. We will only ever work on trees and hedges during this period when there is a risk to public safety.

Read more about wildlife regulations

Please note: if the hedge or tree is on private land, and the owner doesn’t address the issue following a request from the council, we can carry out the work and bill the owner following a formal notification.

Can you help with the maintenance of my garden?

We may be able to help you look after your garden if you meet certain conditions:

How often do you cut grass?

On urban roadside grass verges and public areas such as play areas, cemeteries, and public open spaces, we will cut the grass regularly to maintain a good standard, between April and September each year.

On rural roadside grass verges and in areas such as tree belts and woodland areas, we will cut the grass three times between April and September each year. If the verges are outside a village boundary we will cut it twice between April and August.

How far do you cut grass verges back?

We cut roadside grass verges back between two to three metres at sightlines, bends and junctions so road users and pedestrians can see clearly. 

Other grass verges are cut at least one metre away from the edge of the road. 

Do you collect the grass or hedge clippings?

Grass clippings

Unfortunately grass clippings can’t be removed every time the grass is cut, as the volume is equivalent to clippings from 1,200 football stadiums.

Collecting grass clippings would more than double the cost of the service partly due to a government imposed landfill taxation, as grass clippings on their own can’t be composted.

However, we supply our staff with blowers to keep the footpaths clear of mown grass in key areas such as footpaths in and around retirement homes and sheltered accommodation.

Hedge clippings

If we cut hedges in urban areas we usually collect and remove the clippings. 

Clippings from rural hedges are not normally collected as they are usually contained within the highway verge. If they spill over onto the road and are causing a potential danger to road users please let us know and we will clear them:

Report hedge clippings that need clearing

Do you use weedkiller?

Glyphosate is the active substance in many herbicides (weed killers) and is widely used around the world. It is a non-selective, systemic herbicide/weedkiller and was first used in the UK in 1976.

Glyphosate is effective in controlling most weed species including perennials and grasses in many situations including amenity, forestry, aquatic and industrial situations. It is used by lots of people from farmers to foresters to gardeners to biologists trying to control invasive exotic plants.

Since it is approved for use in many countries, it has been subject to extensive testing and regulatory assessment in the EU, USA and elsewhere, and by the World Health Organisation.

Glyphosate is an approved product and can be used until at least December 2025

Where do we use glyphosate?

We only carry out weed treatment in areas where it is absolutely necessary to do so.  We no longer use herbicides in our green open spaces, which includes children’s play areas, parks, and schools.  

Herbicide treatments are now restricted to use on footways and roadside kerbs. We also carry out treatments around highway street furniture, and trees located within the 30mph speed zone of our villages and towns. This includes spraying around street signs to ensure they remain clearly visible. 

This targeted approach to weed treatment ensures that our footways remain safe and accessible to use and reduces the likelihood of costly repairs to footway and road surfaces from persistent uncontrolled weed growth.  

Are staff trained to apply glyphosate?

The Law requires all individuals using Pesticides in Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry, Industrial and Amenity on or near water to possess a valid pesticide certificate in order to comply with regulations. Legislation applies to Volunteers, Employed or Self employed, regardless of the size of the company or frequency of spraying operations, even if spraying your own land.

All staff undertaking spraying operations are trained to the following standards:

PA1 NPTC Award Level 2 The Safe Use of Pesticides
The course covers legislation, precautions necessary to use a product safely, using product label information, maintenance and storage, personal protective equipment, using label information, COSHH risk assessment and personal hygiene procedures, procedures for dealing with accidental personal contamination, the storage of pesticides, disposal of empty pesticide containers, surplus pesticide and washings, records and risks to people or the environment. 

PA2 – Technical Award in Boom Sprayer – Hydraulic Nozzle
The course covers the use of vehicle mounted/trailer boom spraying equipment

PA6 – Safe Use and Handling of Pesticides Using a Knapsack Sprayer
The course covers the use of hand held applicators to apply pesticides, pellets or granules to land

Are we looking at alternatives to glyphosate?

We are looking at alternatives and are trialling various products to test for effectiveness in killing weeds and the economical costs involved.  Some examples are detailed below:

Hot Foam

This is an expensive option to set up and is only suited to small areas due to the time involved in applying the foam. Tests have shown that the initial application kills the weeds on the surface, but regrowth is appearing after a few weeks requiring further treatment.

Industrial Vinegar Based Products

Trials have taken place using these products which are effective in the short term but require repeat applications as the product does not kill the roots of the weeds. The cost of these products is currently under review.

Manual Removal of Weeds

This process is very time consuming and requires repeat treatment if the root of the weeds cannot be removed.

Is glyphosate used in other areas ?

Glyphosate is used in a number of ways in agriculture in the UK and globally. It is the active ingredient in the world’s most-used weed killer, Roundup. In the UK it is used in stubble fields for weed control before planting and before new crops start to appear. It is also used on cereals and oilseed rape before harvest to help make harvesting easier, control weeds, reduce disease and the potential for natural contaminants to develop, and to curb the number of weeds in the following season.

Glyphosate reduces the need for ploughing, which helps the environment through reducing CO2 emissions, minimising soil erosion, and improving soil quality. Regulatory bodies around the world have looked at the scientific evidence and concluded that glyphosate poses no risk to people when used correctly.

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