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Grounds maintenance – grass cutting, shrub beds and hedges

Grounds maintenance – grass cutting, shrub beds and hedges

We are responsible for the maintenance of highway verges and council-owned parks and open spaces. This involves grass cutting and cutting back hedges and shrubs on approximately 3000 hectares of public open spaces, and 1000km of rural verges.

Grass cutting

Most grass cutting is carried out in cycles during the warmer months. Some areas are mowed more than others depending on agreements in place with town and parish councils and safety or biodiversity requirements. View our grass cutting schedule for most parish areas here.

Highway verges and open spaces

We have a duty to maintain verges so that highways are accessible and safe for everyone. To do this we undertake safety or “visibility” cuts along with cyclic cutting on some rural verges.

As a local authority we also need to consider biodiversity in our everyday services. Road verges should be managed as important habitats for biodiversity as they provide a vital corridor for wildlife and pollinating insects. Many of our rural verges are not cut back to maximize support for biodiversity. We also have ‘managed’ verges where we help flora and fauna and this can include specific cutting periods and other methods to support and improve biodiversity.

A more natural approach to land management is being adopted nationally to support biodiversity and to have more joined up areas for wildlife. We are continuing to research best practice to balance the benefits for wildlife and plants with the practicalities of the operational side of managing our verges and open spaces. Improved management of our grass spaces will also support our Climate Emergency Action Plan and Biodiversity Action Plan.

We have undertaken several trials and improvements in the last few years, which are being monitored and extended where resource permits. We have an ambition to carry out further improvements across South Gloucestershire and are currently looking at the operational and financial implications of doing this.

Wildlife nature reserves

We currently have 12 roadside nature reserves that are home to some rare species. These sites have their own individual management plans.

Hedges and shrubs

Most of the maintenance to hedges and cutting back of shrubs we do is carried out during the winter months. Most rural hedges are not maintained buy the Council but by private individuals such as farmers.

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