Grass Cutting

Grass Verges

The grass cutting season runs from the beginning of March until the end of October weather and ground conditions permitting. Epsom & Ewell Borough Council maintain the highway verges on behalf of Surrey County Council and maintain verges and green spaces belonging to Epsom & Ewell Borough Council.

Weed spraying would ideally be carried out from June onwards.

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is not responsible for damage to grass caused by car/vehicles parked on a Highway verge.

 

Why is the grass so long? 

During normal weather conditions, grass cutting is carried out on a three to four week schedule. The first three cuts at the start of the season are normally when the grass is growing most rapidly and it is at its longest.

It is good practice to set the mower deck on it highest setting for the first cut of the season, this leads to a healthier and more attractive grass verge. As the season progresses the mower decks are lowered, the grass length is reduced and the length of time between cuts is shortened.

 

Why are there large amounts of cuttings lying on top of the grass and on the highway?

The amount of grass cuttings will vary depending on how quickly it is growing. This will dissipate as the year goes on.

 

Why are grass cuttings not collected? 

Like all local authorities, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council does not collect and remove grass cuttings.

The amount of grass cutting we would need to remove would amount to over thousand tonnes per year, which would significantly increase costs both for the collection and disposable. The majority of grass cuttings are left on the verge where they decay back into the ground providing essential nutrients (nitrogen), which helps to strengthen the grass and improve growth.

 

Do you clear the paths after cutting the grass?

Yes, each grass cutting team has a dedicated portable blower operative who is tasked with blowing the grass cuttings off of the paths and back on to the grass verge.

 

Why are you cutting the grass when it's wet when it can stick on the side of cars?

Grass cutting is a large scale operation and therefore cannot only be cut in perfect conditions. Cutting is however suspended during persistent wet weather conditions in order to protect operator safety, prevent damage to verges and to avoid creating an eyesore.

 

Why can't I park on the grass verges?

We appreciate that demand for parking can be high, but parking on the verges can damage them, particularly in wet weather. In some cases it can also cause safety and visibility problems, especially where sight lines may already be restrictive.

Parking on the verge also prevents the grass cutting teams carrying out an effective operation which results in the perception of a poor quality cut.

 

When do you cut down the bulbs?

We don't like to cut down bulb areas until approximately six weeks after flowering, if they die back early we will cut them sooner. This is necessary to ensure a good display the following spring. However, during this six week period the grass cutting can look uneven as areas where bulbs are present are left long.

 

Treatment of Weeds

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council carry out one weed spraying treatment per annum of the pavements and highway on behalf of Surrey County Council.

Where weather conditions permit, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council will endeavour to top up Surrey County Council’s standard with additional treatments of herbicide at strategic points in the year to address weed growth. Each application takes approximately 4 weeks to complete and up to 14 days to take effect.

 

Herbicides used

The herbicides used have a very low toxicity to humans, animals and insects and can be used in areas open to the public and their pets. In areas close to water courses and reservoirs, herbicides are not used.

 

Will dead weeds be removed?

Weeds can be removed by hand once the treatment has taken effect but this would be time consuming and expensive. It would also require additional resources at a considerable cost to residents. 

Where possible weeds will be removed by the mechanical sweeper as it completes its daily rounds.