The Grounds Maintenance team is responsible for carrying out various horticultural and grounds maintenance tasks on road verges, parks, sports pitches, cemeteries, other open spaces, shrub beds and floral displays. The team also carries out grounds maintenance throughout the district for some schools and parish councils.
The team manages Council playground inspections and repairs, ensuring that playgrounds are maintained to the national standards appropriate for children’s safety.
The majority of the team's work is grass cutting and hedge trimming. The team undertakes both activities throughout the growing season, with the timing of cuts being dependent on a variety of parameters, not least the plant type and its growing speed.
Occasionally residents may question why we do not collect the grass clippings from verges and open spaces. With more than 4.2km2 of grass cut every few weeks on average, a rough estimate of 2000 tonnes of grass would need to be disposed each year, which would be extremely expensive.
The best environmental option is also to leave the clippings on the grass. It does not produce the methane gas associated with composting or landfill, and at 80% water the clippings quickly decompose, providing a natural mulch, feeding the worms and fertilizing the soil.
Our operatives use blowers to clear pavements after cutting, but this can be difficult in wet or very windy weather. Spring cuts are always more noticeable as the grass is growing faster and clippings are therefore longer; this slows through the summer season and clippings become much shorter.
The team does not cut hedges during the bird nesting period from March to the end of June, unless there is a real safety risk such as an obstruction to the highway or road junction sight lines.
You can report overgrown grass, shrubs or hedges here: My Test Valley or contact Customer Services on 01264 368000 or 01794 527700.