Wiltshire Council will begin a phased return to its grass cutting services, following a recent suspension of the work to enable resources to support the council’s COVID-19 response.
Small amounts of grounds maintenance has continued throughout this time, predominately within large open spaces to support residents to get their daily exercise, as well as churchyards, cemeteries and sheltered accommodation.
The council is now ready to reintroduce grass cutting on a wider scale throughout the county. This will be carried out in a phased return which will see all grass cut that is accessible for a ride-on mower. To enable the teams to do as much as possible throughout the county with a reduced workforce, the first cut will not include strimming around street furniture.
Due to the current length of the grass, the first two cuts will result in larger than normal amounts of cuttings left behind onsite. The council also anticipates that the next two scheduled cuts will take longer than normal due to the length of the grass and asks that residents bear this in mind before reporting any long grass they may see while they’re out and about.
The recent conditions have been perfect for the grass to grow so the council is working with its contractor to source different types of mowing equipment which will enable them to tackle the grass quicker and more efficiently for the first two cuts of this phase.
The council recognises that some people like to see wildflowers grow on verges and that they have a positive biodiversity impact. If they do cause a visibility issue near roads then the council has to maintain them, but they are only cut one meter back wherever possible.
This year the council will also be undertaking a number of wildflower trials across the county and have had lots of great feedback and suggestions of areas to consider. Residents will be kept up-to-date on the progress of this.
Cllr Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Highways, said “More and more people will be out and about getting their exercise and enjoying Wiltshire once again. We have a plan in place to get our green spaces back into tip-top shape as quickly as possible while keeping staff and the public safe.
“We ask people to respect our staff while they carry out their work and we appreciate everyone’s patience while we get our schedule back on track.
“People like many different aspects of Wiltshire’s landscape, and that’s a good thing, but we have the tricky task of meeting those various needs. However, we hope we’ve got the balance right though and that there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”