Grass cutting on Hertfordshire’s roadside verges had been due to begin in March but was delayed due to the coronavirus situation. However, following a review of safety measures, we will begin this week.
It’s important that we keep on top of this, particularly as more people are walking on grass verges as a result of social distancing advice.
Due to the delay, the results of the first cut may look messy, with clumps of grass and possible litter being left behind. Please bear with us on this.
There will be other areas where it’s not possible to cut due to parked cars. These areas will be assessed before mowing takes place and may need be revisited when current government advice to stay home is relaxed.
This year, for the first time, we intend to cut some roadside verges in rural areas in a different way to encourage the growth of wildflowers.
These areas will be cut once a year, between mid-July and mid-August, with the grass cuttings removed. This will allow for the growth, flowering and seeding of wildflowers It will also prevent the verges from being dominated by more aggressive plant species. This will provide a better habitat for bees and other pollinating insects.
We have identified 34 sites for this, mainly in North Hertfordshire where the soil is chalky and poor in nutrients. We may do some preparation to a further 11 sites too.
The wildflower programme is dependent on the current social distancing rules being relaxed but, if needs be, the programme can be pushed back a month and completed in mid-September.
It will take at least 2-3 more summers before wildflowers will be visible. As a result, some verges may appear overgrown or unmaintained in this first year, but this a natural part of the new habitat establishing itself.
This new approach will contribute to the Sustainable Hertfordshire strategy, our ambitious programme to improve sustainability in the county.
Where we cut the grass
Away from these wildflower verges, grass cutting generally takes place throughout the growing season (March to October). Each area of grass will be cut 2-6 times a year (depending on how fast it grows) and will be cut to a height of 150mm or 250mm, depending on whether it’s in an urban or rural area.
We carry out grass cutting in:
- Three Rivers
- Dacorum (in part)
- surrounding villages in North and East Herts.
The local district or borough councilscarry out highway grass cutting in the remaining areas.
Grass cutting is dependent on weather, ground conditions and the rate of grass growth, so plans can change.
Grass cutting, hedges, trees and weeds