Birmingham City Council

Grounds Maintenance

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Overview

Use the Report Grass Cutting Problem button to report problems such as missed grass cutting, damage to grassed areas, litter cut by mowers and grass left on pavements. Use the Report Shrub/Hedge Pruning button to report problems with overgrown shrubs and hedges. To report excessive weeds within Shrubs/Flowerbeds please use the Report Shrub/Flowerbed Weeding button. If you wish to report weeds on the highway or public pathway please use the Request Street Cleaning button. This form can also be used to request a general street clean, leaf fall removal or dead animal removal.

Parks and Nature Conservation carry out the grass cutting and the maintenance of shrub beds, rose beds, flowerbeds and hedges on land owned by The Council within:

  • Parks and public open spaces
  • Housing areas i.e. around flats and communal gardens
  • Highway verges
  • Schools (where contracted)
  • Warden assisted schemes
  • Golf Courses
  • Allotments
  • And in some selected areas within cemeteries and crematoria

More detail about the maintenance programmes can be found in Essential Information and Frequently Asked Questions. Litter, debris are removed from shrub beds twice a year during a winter and summer maintenance visits

Like most parts of the country, Birmingham has Japanese Knotweed growing on our land. It is illegal to allow this weed to spread so please report any sightings using the Report Japanese Knotweed button. This can also be used to report other invasive or harmful weed species such as Giant Hogweed.

Essential Information
  • Grass is cut every 2 to 3 weeks up to a maximum of 12 cuts per year between April and October. The programme may be influenced by unpredictable weather conditions. All grassed areas are litter picked prior to mowing and any grass cuttings on the pavement will be blown back on to the grass within 24 hours.

    On ornamental lawn areas, for instance around flower beds, the grass is cut weekly and the cuttings are removed.

    Nature conservation areas in parks will retain areas of long grass as a natural habitat for wildlife.

    Some sites for instance formal parks, housing warden schemes and golf courses may have an enhanced maintenance regime which includes removing grass cuttings, lawn edging, and increased litter picking.

  • Shrub beds are pruned back twice a year to remove the previous year’s growth and weeds, litter and debris are removed from the bed at the same time. The maintenance visits take place once in winter (October to March) and once again in summer (April to September)

    The removal of any build up of wind blown litter and debris throughout the rest of the year remain the responsibility of the respective land owner for instance Highways for verges and central reservations and Housing in housing scheme areas.

    Flowerbeds are maintained weed free by hand weeding, shrub beds are kept weed free with approved selective herbicides as required.

  • Hedges are usually kept to a maximum height of 2 metres. Pruning is dependant on species and location and is carried out between once and three times a year. An agricultural or field hedge for instance is usually cut just once a year, whereas a formal privet or box hedge is cut three times a year.

  • We do not maintain grass, shrub areas and hedges that are not owned by the Council, including:

    • Housing trust areas
    • Private land
    • Gardens – both private and tenants with non communal gardens
Frequently Asked Questions
    • There is only a limited amount of funding available for grass cutting. The amount of grassed area the council is responsible for and the time it takes to cut it doesn’t allow for an increase in the overall number of cuts.

      Every year there is a natural spurt in the growth of grass. The actual timing of this will depend on the weather, but the result is a very fast rate of growth - up to 6 inches in one week alone. Unfortunately we cannot amend our regular grass cutting schedule to accommodate this growth spurt as the programme is linked to other regular services such as street cleaning and waste collections.

    • There are millions of square metres of frequently maintained lawns throughout the city. The type of equipment required for the collection and removal of grass cuttings would more than treble the cost of this service.

      The Grounds Maintenance service provider is required to sweep or blow off any cuttings that fall onto footpaths back onto the mown lawn immediately after cutting.

      There is a general requirement within the contract for any litter and debris to be removed from the maintained lawns immediately prior to mowing so that litter is not cut up and spread by mowing machines.

    • If the grass is cut less often we need different mowing machines to cut the longer, thicker growth and the increase in cuttings leads to more cleaning up which will cost more money.

    • Grass cutting across the whole of the city is a large scale, highly organised operation and therefore cannot only be performed in perfect conditions. Unless conditions are very bad and there is the possibility that the mowers will cause serious damage, or in order to protect operator safety, we cut the grass in all weathers - otherwise mowing would fall behind schedule. As the contractors are scheduled to cut in different areas each day they are unable to pop back to finish off an area when the rain stops.

    • Any elderly, infirm or disabled residents who require assistance in maintaining their gardens should try contacting their local neighbourhood office in the first instance for any charity organisations or local groups that may be able to help, such as Age Concern.

    • We only cut areas that are on a programme of work to be done- some areas are under private ownership or have not yet been adopted by the council. Other areas are for conservation and are kept long for wildlife. If you think an area has been missed in error, please contact us so that we can investigate.

    • Often hedges that are regularly cut in the Grounds Maintenance programme are found to have birds nesting in them. Disturbance of nesting birds is prohibited by law. During the bird nesting season (approx March until August) if a hedgerow is believed to be home to nesting birds, we will be unable to carry out works until the young birds have fledged and left the nest.

    • The hedge is the responsibility of the land owner, if the hedge is growing over from a private property onto the pavement the Highways Authority will instruct the owner to cut it back – if nothing is done and the hedge is causing an obstruction the Highways Authority may arrange for it to be cut by our contractors.

    • The control of weeds within maintained areas i.e. in shrub and rose beds, around street furniture located in grass verges and within parks, is carried out by our Grounds Maintenance Service Providers using only approved herbicides. All operatives are fully trained and comply with Health and Safety and environmental legislation.

      When the herbicide is applied to a weed, usually by spraying, it works its way through the plant killing it completely. On contact with soil it breaks down into harmless substances. This type of herbicide is known as a non-residual translocated herbicide.

      The control of weeds on paved areas along the highway is carried out by the Fleet & Waste Management Department.

    • The Parks and Nature Conservation Service is only responsible for preventing the spread of Japanese Knotweed from the parks and open spaces it maintains.If you are a Council tenant please contact your local housing team for advice. Further information about Japanese Knotweed and advice on treatment to eradicate it can be found in the attachment below.

    • If you haven't been able to find the information that you need then the link below will take you to a form that you can use to ask us further questions.

      Service Specific Enquiry
Attachments
attached document Information on Japanese Knotweed
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