We cut the grass between March and October on council owned land, such as:
This ensures the safe use of the city's roads, pavements, parks and open spaces.
We don't cut the grass on:
How often we cut the grass varies according to the type of land. For example, sports pitches need more frequent cutting. Most parks and open spaces along with cemeteries will be cut 12 times between March and October.
Most grass verges will be cut ten times. A small number of verges are only cut between two and six times a year. These are usually very busy roads, such as the A52 from the Pentagon Island to the city boundary at Raynesway. Here, cutting the grass involves setting up road works and disrupting traffic, so we do it as little as possible.
Areas of some parks are set aside for wild flowers or young trees and may not be cut as often or not at all.
The grass may not be cut as often if we have a very dry spell as the grass doesn’t grow as quickly.
If we did this we would need extra staff and it would cost more. As we cut most areas regularly the grass does not grow very long, so leaving the cuttings doesn’t usually cause problems.
Mowers that collect cuttings cost more to buy and run and are slower. They are normally only used on formal park areas, cricket squares or bowling greens. The grass collection boxes need regular emptying so it would cost a lot more to collect and transport the cuttings.
On some grassed areas our mowers aren’t able to cut close enough to trees and bases of obstacles so we apply an approved herbicide around trees and obstacles, usually twice each year. In some cases, depending on the weather, the effect of the herbicide does not last as long as usual so we may do some strimming as well. We try not to strim round the base of trees too much as it can damage the bark and even kill the tree in some cases.
It‘s good practice not to cut down the foliage of faded flowering bulbs. They should be left for around six weeks after flowering. This allows them to produce new bulbs the following year. We mow around the bulb areas until they have died back, usually around the middle of June.
Where we can, we try to co-ordinate with street cleaning to ensure large amounts of litter are removed before we mow.
We do sometimes start the mowing work early in the day before the parks become busy. It reduces safety risks to members of the public. Bowling greens and golf courses have to be cut early to be ready for people to use throughout the day.
We have a lot of grass to cut and a very tight schedule. Unless conditions are very bad we cut the grass in all weathers. Grass is very resilient and quickly recovers from minor smearing or surface damage.