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Grass, weeds and shrubs

We maintain grass, weeds and shrubs on highways. 

Management of shrubs, grass and weed growth within parks and open spaces, housing sites, schools and other council building may be different and the responsibility lies with the department or site outlined below.

 

Grass cutting and weed treatment programme 2020

Normally grass verges on the streets are cut eight times a year between March and December on a six to seven-week cycle; unfortunately, this year it has been difficult to adhere to the work programme due to social distancing restrictions.  We have just started the sixth cut and the table will be updated once a ward has been completed

Normally weed spraying on the streets is carried out in four main treatments between February and December on a nine to twelve-week cycle; unfortunately, this year it has been difficult to adhere to the work programme due to social distancing restrictions. We have just started the third treatment and the table below shows the order wards are visited and the date the treatment was completed.

Find out what ward your road is on

Grass cutting ward Grass cutting completion  Weed treatment wards

Weed treatment completion

Monkhams

In Progress

Goodmayes

Thursday 17 September 2020

Churchfields

 

Mayfield

Monday 21 September 2020

Chadwell

 

Clementswood

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Bridge

 

Valentines

Friday 25 September 2020

Fullwell

 

Hainault

Monday 12 October 2020

 

Barkingside

 

Fairlop

Tuesday 20 October 2020

Clayhall

 

Newbury

In progress

Fairlop

 

Barkingside 

In progress

Hainault

 

Aldborough

 

Aldborough

 

Chadwell

 

Goodmayes

 

Seven Kings

 

Mayfield

 

Loxford

 

Loxford

 

Ilford Town

 

Clementswood

 

Cranbrook

 

Newbury

 

Fullwell

 

Valentines

 

Clayhall

 

Cranbrook

 

Monkhmas

 

Ilford Town

 

Churchfields

 

Wanstead Park

 

South Woodford

 

Wanstead Village

 

Bridge

 

South Woodford

 

Wanstead Village

 
Seven Kings  No grass cutting sites 

Wanstead Park

 

Grassed verges

The grass verges are cut eight-times in the year, which means there are approximately six to seven weeks (or longer if the weather causes delays) between the cuts. The grass grows at different rates throughout the year, with the fastest rate being between April and June and during the rest of the year the grass tends to grow slower, but the weeds and flowers will continue to grow tall.

Redbridge Council operates a Framework Agreement Contract (FAC) for grounds maintenance works.  All companies included on the FAC have been vetted and approved to carry out work on behalf of the London Borough of Redbridge. Contractor monitoring is carried out by both the contractor and the council, to ensure the schedule is adhered to and works are to the required standard.

 

Grass cuts each year will vary, as some locations are managed differently for a specific reason. There are three main categories:

Grass verges

There are about 240 highway grass verges in the 22 Redbridge wards, covering 165,000 square metres. The verges are cut eight times each year on an approximate six to seven-week cycle.

The cutting starts in March and generally is completed in November or December.

The programme is subject to alteration due to weather and ground conditions.  Cutting is not carried out in heavy rain or if the ground is too soft due to waterlogging.

Cutting may be suspended in periods of prolonged hot weather when the grass dies back; this is to prevent damage to the grass and ground surface.

Rural Road verges

Verges adjacent to farmers fields and in non-residential areas (mainly in the Aldborough and Hainault wards) are cut twice per year, to maintain sight lines for motorists.

For safety reasons, this work is generally carried out using a tractor, with a cutting arm attached to it.

Wildflower meadows

Redbridge Council is  promoting bio-diversity schemes and wildflower meadows in a number of highway locations, including on:

  • Nelson Road
  • Overton Drive
  • Chigwell Road, adjacent to Dartnalls Field
  • Wanstead Place
  • Hermon Hill – junction of Cranbourne Avenue
  • Claybury Bank – Claybury Broadway

The grass at specific locations on these roads is being left to grow all season to encourage wildflowers and grasses to sow their seeds. 

The grass will be cut once in the year, in November/December

 

The cuttings are not removed following the cutting operation, but are left atop the grass verge. During windy or wet conditions, the cuttings may blow off the verge onto the road and pavements. It may not be possible to blow the cuttings back onto the verge and the cuttings will be left on the road or pavement to disperse naturally.

All visible litter should be removed before cutting the grass verges and removed immediately on completion of the cutting operation. Litter on rural roads or on bio-diversity/wildflower sites, but the Council’s Street Cleansing Service works with the contractor on these operations, removing any exposed or shredded litter shortly after the cutting operation is completed.

Bulky items or fly-tipping will not be removed but cut around. The contractor is required to report any issues that prevent the grass from being cut to the council.

Find out more about litter removal and fly tipping 

 

Where bulbs (mainly daffodils) have been planted in the grass, the grass is not cut until at least the end of May. This period allows the bulbs to flower and after flowering the bulbs need to be left for a minimum of six weeks to store energy in the bulb so it can flower the following year.

 

The following could potentially damage verges:

·        vehicles parking

·        utility or maintenance

·        uneven surfaces caused by vehicle wheels

·        excessive stones or debris left on the grass verge

Where the above occurs, areas of verge will be left uncut until it has been repaired.

 

Weeds

The main way weeds are controlled on the streets is through the application of a weed killer. All treatments, on hard surfaces (pavements, road gullies/gutters) or soft surfaces (shrubs, roses, hedges and tree pits), are carried out between February and November/December.

 

A schedule is agreed between ourselves and the contractor prior to the start of the season. Any amendments during the year are agreed by both parties. The contractor provides a weekly update on the progress of the work programme. The contractor is also required to carry out an element of self-monitoring and submit the results to us. We then carry out sample monitoring of the contractors self-monitoring.

  • Soft surfaces are treated with weed killer 3 times per year
  • Hard surfaces treatment vary between 2 and 5 times per year

The frequency of treatments throughout the borough varies depending on the growth rate of the weed within the areas. Some areas experience a greater amount of weed growth than others, due to a number of reasons, including:

  • neighbouring vegetation
  • make-up of the road and pavement surface – weed growth is generally greater on paved areas than tarmacked areas

Unless you have the appropriate licence and direct approval from the council, it is against the law for anyone apart from the council's contractor to apply weed killer on public land. 

 

The weed killer works programme is subject to change during unsuitable weather conditions, such as:

  • during or immediately after rainfall
  • high or gusty winds
  • extremely high temperatures (above 30 degrees Celsius)

 

For the majority of roads and pavements within Redbridge, the weed killer is applied manually by a member of staff, who walks the street with the weed killer within either a knapsack on their back, or a lance, where the weed killer is located within the lance.

On rural roads (areas that generally do not have footpaths) and central reservations, a specially equipped vehicle is used to apply the weed killer as it is considered too hazardous to apply it manually.

The dead weeds are not generally removed once they have died, but disperse naturally. Where weed growth is prolific, the street cleansing team may remove the larger weeds when they have died. If the weeds have not dispersed after two to three weeks of the weeds dying then you can report them to the street cleansing team to have the weeds manually removed.

Types of weed killer

There are 2 types of weed killer used in Redbridge:

Contact weed killer

This controls weeds that it comes into direct contact with and is absorbed by the plant, so it also reaches the root system of the plant. It becomes inactive on contact with any other surface, e.g. paving or soil. This weed killer is used on both hard and soft surfaces. We use Roundup ProVantage which is a Glyphosate based weed killer.

Residual Weed Killer

This is used on soft surfaces only and is applied directly to the soil, where it creates a shallow barrier on the surface of the soil, that inhibits any seeds within that area, from germinating; this means it prevents weeds from starting to grow.

This weed killer is normally applied only once in the year. The success of this weed killer varies greatly, depending on weather conditions. Extensive or heavy rain can dilute the weed killer and wash it out of the ground. We use Pacaya which is a herbicide that contains flazasulfuron.

On occasion, a moss killer is also applied to areas where there is significant moss growth.

 

Timings can vary depending on the type of weed and the weather conditions. Generally, the weeds will take two to three weeks to fully die. However, grass tends to die a lot quicker and broadleaf weeds (such as dandelions) can take longer.

Some weeds are more resistant to the weed killer and may take much longer to die. In some cases, certain species of weed are removed manually due to their resistance to the weed killer.

Weeds take longer to die if the temperature is low (below 8 degrees Celsius) or high (above 30 degrees Celsius).

 

Shrubs, hedges and roses

Shrubs

Shrub pruning can be carried out twice per year, in the summer (June-August) and winter (October-February). Not every shrub will require pruning twice in the year. Shrubs are assessed prior to each pruning period to ascertain if they require pruning or not. Weeds within shrub are not removed but are treated with herbicide 3 times per year.

Shrubs are not pruned if they are in flower or if there are birds nesting within them.  It is against the law to disturb a nesting bird during nesting season (generally between March and August).

Hedges

Hedges are pruned once per year, if required, in the winter period(October to February), once bird nesting season has ended.

Rose 

Roses are pruned once per year in February. Weeds within rose beds are not removed but are treated with herbicide 3 times per year.

 

Generally, the pruning clippings are removed immediately following the pruning operation and the surrounding area left tidy. On occasion, the clippings may be mulched and left on the bed, to allow the nutrients to return to the soil and aid future growth.

 

Dead shrubs can be removed but not replaced, we are considering a replacement planting programme subject to funding.

If utility (gas, electricity, water) companies carry out work that requires the removal of shrubs within the highway, the council work closely with the utility company on the reinstatement of the areas damaged and shrubs, during the planting season starting in November and ending in March.

 

To adopt a public space for community gardening, please visit our Spruce up your neighbourhood page and see the community gardening section for more information.

 

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