Grass cutting, flower beds, hedges, trees, shrubs and verges
Our grounds maintenance team look after the areas grass cutting, flower beds, parks maintenance, play areas, shrubs and trees.
We maintain 2,938,000 square metres of grass, 168 miles of rural road verges, 1800 highway trees, and around 5,600 miles of roads and paths.
To pay an outstanding grounds maintenance charge go to our Pay it page.
Maintaining our green areas
We mow a metre-wide strip along our rural road verges to give a safe site line for road users.
There are 270km (168 miles) of rural road verges in North East Lincolnshire and we aim to cut most of them once. Sometimes twice a season, if this is required, exception would be at road junctions where they may be cut more often.
Rural road verges are provide important natural habitats and we aim to time our cuts to allow wild flowers to set their seed and flourish.
Request an area to be cut by completing our online form for Road verge cutting in rural areas .
We are responsible for more than 100,000 trees in public areas and have a maintenance schedule for their care.
The most important part of this work is to take care of trees that cause a hazard on our roads and footpaths.
Work on trees
Working on a tree is a specialist job and our arborists make sure that work is done safely and allows the tree to continue to thrive. The nature of the work depends on the type of tree and its location.
Trees we look after are checked every one to seven years depending on location and species. We prioritise the work depending on the risk the tree presents and our workload at that time.
If you spot a problem in between checks we’d like to hear from you. Please use the Trees and hanging branches form to give us information we can act on. It is really helpful if you can include a photograph with your report.
Sometimes we have to remove trees due to both storm damage and disease.
Even well managed trees can lose limbs and small branches, particularly during spells of wet and windy weather. It is not always possible to replace fallen or felled trees.
Our main priority is to protect and reduce the risk to members of the public. Every tree inspected will be put on a list as low, medium or high priority.
Not all trees in public open spaces are under the control of the Council. Some are privately owned and some will be the responsibility of other agencies such as private landlords and housing associations.
How can I help?
We have a responsibility to maintain trees on our land, but sometimes you might wish to trim back tree growth which overhangs your property. If you are able to, and choose to do this we would ask that you only tackle growth which can be easily reached from ground level.
Pruning must be sympathetic to the tree and not cause imbalance or damage. If in doubt please seek advice from the Council and please avoid disturbing nesting birds.
Report issues with trees by completing our online form for Trees or hanging branches .
Our grass cutting teams cut an area approximately 2,938,000 square metres. That’s about 73,000 average gardens.
During the growing season, which is March and October, the grass is cut every three weeks (subject to weather conditions).
Some grassed areas and wildflower plantings are deliberately kept long to help our wildlife. Areas where bulbs are planted are left for at least six weeks following the end of flowering to make sure that the bulb gets the nourishment it needs to flower again the following year.
We usually cut all of the council maintained grass one ward area at a time.
What grassed areas are the Council’s?
Not all grassed public areas are under council control, some are privately owned or the responsibility of other organisations. Grass in Healing is cut by Healing Parish Council, and the grass in Immingham is cut by Immingham Town Council.
You can see the grassed areas the Council maintains and those which Lincolnshire Housing Partnership maintain our online map.
- Go to our online map
- Choose the ‘my maps’ tab
- Enter a postcode and select a house/building name or number
- Use the show map categories and select ‘grass cutting’
How can you help?
We encourage people to cut grass verges and other areas where they live, it’s a big help to us.
If you are happy to help, please take care and be mindful of other people in the area.
Please leave clippings where they fall, there is no need to put them in a bin. Clippings will usually burn off in the sunshine and provide nourishment to the roots. Please sweep any clippings that fall on the pathway back onto the grass.
Can you report an area that has been missed?
We do not take reports for overgrown grass. It takes us about three weeks to complete a full round, but this is largely dependent on the weather. The grass is always growing in that time but please be assured we are working our way around the borough and will cover all the areas we are responsible for.
Not all grassed public areas are under council control, some are privately owned or the responsibility of other organisations. Please check with the Council to find out who is responsible for the area you think we’ve missed.
Our Grounds Maintenance team maintains our flower beds to keep them looking stunning and free of weeds and litter. In areas where it is appropriate, we are planting attractive, sustainable wildflower displays that encourage wildlife and need less maintenance.
There are a number of community groups who volunteer to maintain, improve and often promote a green space in their community. They are often very active on social media and are always looking for new members to join and help. It’s a great way to keep fit, enjoy the fresh air, meet friends and have your say in how the area is managed. If there is no active group listed, you could create one.
We have a schedule of maintenance for the area’s shrubs and hedges. Our main priority relating to shrub pruning and hedge cutting is site lines and overhanging vegetation onto footways.
Most of our work is carried out within the winter months outside nesting season.
A lot of work can be affected by the weather. We will use our workforce to carry out other activities during prolonged periods of very cold weather, snow or rainfall.
How can I help?
You can help by trimming shrubs and hedges where you live.
If you choose to do this, please only tackle areas you can reach easily from ground level. Be mindful of other people in the area and please do not disturb nesting birds. Always seek advice from the Council prior to commencing any pruning works.
Report issues with any hedges or shrubs by completing our online form for Shrubs and hedges .
We control weeds along 3,000 km (1,864 miles) of footpath in North East Lincolnshire with the application of herbicide.
It takes approximately 9 to 10 weeks, subject to weather, to complete a full weed application.
Weeds grow at a very fast rate during warm and wet weather conditions. If this happens please be patient as we work our way round all the areas based on our work schedule.
You can help by removing the weeds in front of your home or in other areas where you live. If you choose to do this, please take care and be mindful of other people in the area.
Report issues with weed growth by completing our online form for Weed spraying .
Frequently asked questions
Why do we control weeds?
As much as we love our plant life in North East Lincolnshire, we don’t want to see weeds growing up through paving slabs, in gutters and in the space between pathways and walls. Left to grow unchecked they can collect litter, look unsightly and can cause damage to our roads and paths.
How can I help?
We encourage people to look after the area where they live, it’s a big help to us and reduces the amount of chemicals we use. If you are happy to help by removing the weeds in front of your house by hand, please take care and be mindful of other people in the area.
How do we control weeds?
It’s not possible for us to remove all weeds by hand. We use a combination of mechanical strimming and weed spraying to reduce the impact of weeds. We apply a ‘contact’ weed killer as this helps protect the public, wildlife and the environment and complies with the relevant legislation.
It does mean that only weeds present at the time of spraying will be killed. Weeds usually take between seven and 10 days to die back following treatment and any plants which germinate and grow after the application will continue to grow.
How often do we treat weeds?
We control weeds along 3,000km (1,864 miles) of footpath in North East Lincolnshire.
It takes about 9 to 10 weeks to complete a full weed control round and usually two to three rounds are completed in a growing season. Weeds can grow a lot in this amount of time, so please be patient as we work our way around the borough.
How does the weather affect weed control?
For weed killer to be effective it needs to be applied in dry weather. If not, there is a risk that the chemical will be washed away before it has had a chance to work. This means that rain and winds disrupts our weed spraying schedule.
What type of weed killer do we use?
Along with many other councils in England, we use Round-up as well as a number of other products. These products are currently authorised for use in the UK and EU and are widely used in farming and other industries. The product we use is weaker than you might use at home. It has to have a low toxicity to be used in public places.
Why do our staff wear protective clothing when controlling weeds?
You might see our staff out and about dressed in white protective clothing and wearing face mask protection. Their safety clothing should not cause concern as it is there to protect our employees who are in close contact with the herbicides we use for long periods of time. We use approved herbicides which have a very low toxicity and which are approved for use in spaces open to the public, their pets and wildlife.
Why are the weeds so overgrown where I live?
This could be for a number of reasons. Not all the weeds you see in public areas are the responsibility of the Council. Some areas are privately owned or the responsibility of other organisations.
If the weather is wet, we can’t apply weed killer. If it’s also warm, weeds grows quickly. It takes about 10 weeks to complete a full weed control round and usually two to three rounds are completed in a growing season. Weeds can grow a lot in this amount of time, so please be patient as we work our way around the borough.
Why do I pay more council tax when services are being cut?
Council tax is only one of our main funding sources. The other two are grants from central government and business rates. Although your council tax has gone up, we’ve lost a lot of funding from central government.
In 2013 the main grant from central government was just over £52-million but it fell to less than £18-million in 2017/18. A loss of about £34-million.
Council tax now makes up just under half of our funding and we need to rely more on business rates, but these can vary. There’s uncertainty about how much we’ll receive in future and we don’t always receive as much as we expect.
About two thirds of our budget is spent supporting people – that’s older people, disabled and vulnerable people as well as babies, children and families. Only a small proportion is spent on other services.
A high hedge is defined as a line of two or more evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs higher than 2 metres above ground level that form a complete barrier to light or access.
High hedges are dealt with under Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 and the High Hedges (Appeals) (England) Regulations 2005. The law does not require all hedges to be reduced to, or maintained at, a height of 2 metres.
Can we go straight to the Council with our hedge problem?
No. The government have published guidance on how to settle your hedge differences without involving the local authority. Read the Over the garden hedge guidance.
Provided you have tried and exhausted all other ways to resolve your hedge dispute, you can make a complaint about a neighbour’s evergreen hedge to us. If we have to get involved there will be a £400 fee which is not refundable.
Read the government guidance on high hedges – complaining to the council .
Can I complain to the Council about individual trees?
No. Follow the steps in the guidance Over the garden hedge to try to settle your dispute.
I’m worried that the roots will damage my property. Can I complain about this?
No. This is not to do with the height of the hedge but its roots taking moisture from the soils that shrink. The Act specifically says that Councils can’t deal with problems caused by roots.
GOV.UK – Over the garden hedge
GOV.UK – High hedges: complaining to the council
Report high hedges
A form to report high hedges will be available soon. For more information contact us on 01472 326300 option 3.
Road verge cutting in rural areas
Telephone: 01472 326300 option 3
Call centre opening times: Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5pm, except bank holidays