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Hertfordshire County Council

Grass cutting

We cut grass between March and October.

Grass cutting near you


Acting on our behalf, 9/10 district and borough councils (with the exception of Three Rivers district, where weed control is managed directly by the County Council), treat common weeds on roads and pavements in urban settlements approximately twice a year between spring and early autumn, depending on the weather. We and the district and borough councils use an authorised weed treatment.

During grass cutting season, we aim to cut the verges in towns and villages, as well as high speed roads.

We try to cut the grass up to 5 times on high speed roads, though there are some areas which are protected wild flower or wildlife habitats – they're only cut once a year.



Verge maintenance

Typically we cut grass verges multiple times a year to keep our roads and pavements clear and to ensure visibility is not obscured.

However, in some locations we are trying to promote wildflower growth and biodiversity by:

  • only cutting once a year, which allows more established verges to flourish
  • cutting by hand and collecting the cuttings, which allows slower growing wildflowers a better chance to grow.

This is known as 'alternative verge maintenance'. It's part of our Sustainable Hertfordshire strategy.

How to suggest locations for alternative verge maintenance

1.  Check that the verge meets these criteria:

Criteria for only cutting once a year

Also known as a conservation cut. The verge must:

  • currently be cut more than once per year
  • not be close to a junction where longer grass would restrict visibility
  • not be next to a pavement or road that would become partially blocked by longer grass
  • not become unsightly and attract complaints if left uncut (more relevant in urban areas).

Criteria for cutting by hand and collecting cuttings

Also known as an enhanced conservation cut. The verge must:

  • be next to a road at least 5.5m wide, 6.75m wide if it's used by buses or heavy goods vehicles (don't measure the road, an estimate is fine)
  • be next to a road with a speed limit of 40mph or less (or a wide country lane)
  • not be steep or uneven
  • have signs of wildflowers like cowslips or meadow buttercups
  • not have nettles or cow parsley.

Send your suggestion to your local county councillor.


Tree maintenance

In most cases, hedges and trees growing next to public roads and footpaths are the responsibility of the adjacent landowner.

You're entitled to cut branches overhanging your property, but you can't reclaim any costs of doing that.

When you report a tree that's causing a danger or an obstruction, we'll carry out an inspection. If we find a problem, we'll either:

  • contact the landowner, asking them to arrange for their hedges/trees to be pruned
  • if trees or hedges are ours, we'll arrange the necessary work.

Our tree strategy

Our Tree strategy and guidance (PDF 130KB) explains the rules we follow, including when we decide to replant or prune.


Removing trees

We try to check the trees we're responsible for every 3 years.

We remove trees that pose a risk to people and property. We remove the stumps separately, normally 1 month after we removed the tree.

Sometimes we remove trees if they cause an obstruction, damage or affect visibility.

Where possible, we'll plant a new tree in approximately the same position. That's usually in the winter.

Report a tree problem


Weed control

Acting on our behalf, district and borough councils treat common weeds on roads and pavements in urban settlements approximately twice a year in late spring and early September, depending on the weather.

They use an authorised weed killer.


Hedge cutting

Cutting your own hedge

If you want to remove your hedgerow, you'll need to apply in writing to your Local Planning Authority (your district or borough council) who then have 42 days to respond to you.

Hedges on private land

Private land owners are responsible for removing vegetation that overhangs from their land.

If you're a private land owner, we may contact you if an issue has been raised and we'll give you notice to remove the obstruction.

Our hedges

We'll cut back hedges that we own if they're causing an obstruction on a pavement.


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