We have responsibility for maintaining the verges and trees along the road to meet road safety standards along the 4,165km of roads that we maintain.
We cut the grass five times a year in urban areas and twice a year in rural areas. This is for road safety reasons rather than visual appearance. In urban areas the grass is cut to 75mm or below and we do not collect the grass cuttings. This means that a lawn-like finish is not achieved.
We carry out weed control twice a year.
There are a few verges which are deemed conservation verges due to the special flora and fauna they contain. These are only cut once a year, usually in September.
When verges near you are being cut
During the grass cutting season we will display the schedule here.
Cutting the grass outside your own property
Many residents and businesses prefer a lawn-like finish to the grass outside their properties and we recognise the important work that residents and businesses do in cutting the grass outside their properties.
We've put together a list of points to consider when working in a public space and near to traffic:
Many grassed areas in and around housing estates are not part of the highway and cutting these is not our responsibility. The district council usually does this.
If you have grass cuttings from your property that you need to dispose of please contact your local district council to see if they offer a service for the collection of garden waste in your area.
Fly tipping of garden waste should be reported to the relevant district council.
Most hedges and trees by the road are not owned by us, but by adjacent landowners, who are responsible for maintaining them. However, we can make sure work is carried out if they present a danger to road users.
Trees by the road
If branches of a tree, hedge or bush are overhanging the road and posing a danger to road users by obscuring traffic signs/signals, we will prune the branches if the tree is owned and managed by us. If the tree is on private land we can serve notice on the landowners if necessary to ensure any danger or obstruction is removed.
Neighbours' trees and hedges
Posing a danger to neighbouring properties
If a neighbour’s tree is in such a condition that makes it a danger to neighbouring properties, then the district council may serve a notice on the tree owner to make the tree safe within 21 days. If the owner does not take action, the district council may carry out work to make the tree safe and recover costs from the tree owner.
Posing a danger to road users
If a neighbour’s tree is in such a condition that makes it a danger to road users, for example, by falling into the road, then our highways team may serve a notice on the tree owner to remove the danger within 14 days. If the owner does not take action, the highways team may carry out the work and recover costs from the tree owner.
Blocking your light
If a neighbour’s tree is blocking your light you cannot force them to cut it down. As long as the tree is safe and is not causing damage, your neighbour is entitled to grow the tree.
If a neighbour's hedge is blocking your light and you wish to take action, you may be able to do so under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. Please contact your district council for advice.
Overhanging your property
If a neighbour’s tree or hedge is growing over into your property, you cannot make them cut it back. However, you do have the right to remove overgrowing branches yourself, but only back to the common boundary and as long as any cuttings are offered back to the tree or hedge owner.
If leaves have blown onto your property from a neighbour’s tree, you cannot expect the tree owner to clean up the leaves or charge them if you do so.
Reporting a problem
- Are the verges, trees or hedges at a particular location affecting visibility?
- Are there road signs that are hidden by trees, hedges or long grass?
- Is there an unsafe tree posing a danger to road users?
If so please report it using our online fault reporting form or tel: 0300 500 80 80.