Hampshire's road verges a cut above the rest
Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Hampshire County Council's highways maintenance teams are out across Hampshire working on the annual grass cutting and verge maintenance programme. Over 2,000 miles of Hampshire's roads are covered by the rural grass cutting programme - double the distance if both sides are treated.
Verges of ecological importance cut early or later in the season
Each year the County Council cuts a third of all rural verges back to their boundary. There are also a number of designated road verge sites of ecological importance, which are managed to ensure the survival of rare species and diverse species-rich swards. These areas are cut either early in the season during April or May, or in late September each year.
Rural grass cutting
Rural grass cutting is carried out twice a year using local contractors, with the first cut starting in May and completed by the end of June. The second cuts starts in August and should be completed by the middle of September. There are up to 12 machines working around the county at any one time.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: "With almost 2,000 miles of roadside verges to look after, Hampshire's grass cutting programme is an essential part of maintaining the highways to keep Hampshire moving.
"Good visibility is crucial for motorists and other road users, so we have to make sure that verges are trimmed back during the summer. The work we carry out is sensitive to nature conversation, we ensure that plant and wildlife habitats of special interest are protected, with careful timings so as not to disturb resident animals and birds, and we are particularly careful on rural roads to balance conservation with the need to keep the roads safe for everyone who uses them.
"If you are a motorist and get stuck behind one of our grass cutting vehicles, please be patient. We always try to keep any inconvenience to a minimum, but work to keep our roads and verges safe is clearly in everyone's interests."