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Hedge and grass cutting

We have a responsibility to maintain various types of grass and hedge areas which we own or are cut under agreement as described below. Other organisations such as:

are responsible for areas that they own or maintain. 

Map showing areas that are maintained by SLDC

Hedge cutting

Hedge cutting on our land depends on the species or specific requirements. Our contractors, Continental Landscapes Ltd, do not usually cut hedges during the bird nesting season from February to August.

The frequency may change where hedges encroach footpaths or block access points or highways. They are then cut as required.

Highway verges 

Our contractors cut many of the grass and hedge verges on highways in towns under an arrangement with Cumbria County Council. The County Council arrange all cutting in rural areas and on most main roads. Highways England cut the grass verges on the A590 and M6. Some verges in villages are maintained by Parish Councils.

Cutting is carried out for safety not appearance and some areas are left uncut or only cut once a year to encourage wild flowers.

If a privately owned hedge, tree, grass area or shrub bed is affecting footpaths or the highway it can be reported to Cumbria County Council.

The landowner is responsible for all vegetation growing on their land and, in some circumstances, where vegetation is growing in the roadside verge. Cumbria County Council's Highways Department is the responsible authority where trees are causing an obstruction, or a hazard on the roads or pavements, and they have powers under the Highways Act to contact the owners and request that the problem be dealt with.

Report a problem on the highway to Cumbria County Council or call 0300 303 2992.

Residential estates

Our contractors mow verges and hedges on some estates to ensure people can use roads and pavements safely. South Lakes Housing and other housing associations are responsible for grounds maintenance on many of the other residential estates. Housing developers may also retain responsibility for the maintenance of the areas around new housing builds.
 
Cutting usually takes place routinely between 1 April and 31 October. However, the actual frequencies may vary according to weather, location of the verge etc.

Occasionally there is a natural flush of grass which can make it look as if the grass has not been cut. Unfortunately we have limited resources for dealing with this so we try to keep to our schedule. We do not collect cuttings as the cost of collection and disposal is doubled.

Clippings on pavements are usually "blown" off the path back onto the grass area. When we cut the verges we aim to avoid chopping up litter and leaving clumps of grass cuttings on surrounding paths.

Our parks and open spaces

These are cut frequently to allow informal use of the area and may have a wild flower area or be entirely cut to wild flower regimes.
 
The type of mowing regime is chosen according to the location of the park or open space, so areas on rural fringes of urban areas are more likely to be mostly cut to a wildflower regime than are areas close to Town Centres. The overall character of the area is taken into consideration when deciding how to mow the grass.

Cemeteries

Grass cutting takes place according to areas of the cemetery which are most used, entrance gate lawns are cut to ornamental lawn standard as are areas which have recent interments.

Some cemeteries have areas of wild flowers or bulbs and these will be cut in accordance with the details on this type of area below.

Wild flowers

Wild flower mowing takes place on wide Highway verges, large open spaces and in some areas of traditional parks. 

Local authorities have been encouraged to look at grass cutting regimes to support the National Pollinator Strategy and in line with this we reviewed grass cutting across the district and have adopted a policy that aimed to improve biodiversity of plant and insect species.

As part of this, grass in a selected number of areas has been left to grow throughout the season, with either safety cuts around the edges or paths cut through. All the areas are regularly monitored.

We worked with our contractors to use different forms of management on these sites. The principles behind this are:

  • to reduce the carbon emissions created by regular cuttings, from both those emitted by the vehicles and machinery, and those created by the decomposition of the grass cuttings (both those collected and those left on-site)
  • to increase the diversity of plant species found in the green spaces, benefitting local wildlife and the wider environment to diversify local landscape value

Sites in Kendal included:

  • Hawesmead Park
  • Milnthorpe Road
  • Shap Road

The grass is left to grow in these areas throughout the season with either safety cuts carried out around the edges, or paths cut through. 

Sports grass

Bowling greens and golf courses

Grass cutting on fine sports turf takes place regularly. Grass is collected and removed.

Football pitches

Grass is cut during the playing season to ensure it doesn’t prevent play. Otherwise cutting takes place in accordance with the regime for the surrounding area.

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