We cut grass on council owned land to ensure that people can use roads and pavements safely.  Although environmental issues are important, grass cutting of highway verges is actually carried out for safety reasons rather than for appearance.

In 2011 the council agreed to a reduction in grass cutting frequencies  in order to make savings of £1.7m million from the Neighbourhood Services budget. We now aim to cut verges and open spaces on a cycle that takes over 20 working days to complete, effectively once/month.  It is therefore inevitable that grass is longer between cuts and we are not able to respond to requests for a higher frequency of cutting. 

Large areas  over approx 1000m2 not used for formal sport are left uncut.

Grass cutting operations are inevitably affected by weather and ground conditions and so a fixed schedule cannot be guaranteed.

In April 2015 Bolton at Home appointed a private sector operator to maintain communal land on former council estates. Bolton council no longer has any responsibility for land belonging to Bolton at Home that does not form part of the adopted highway.

To report any safety issues with grass on council land, please contact us and we will investigate the matter.


Adopted roads and footpaths are treated for weeds three times a year between May and September using a glyphosate based herbicide. The operation can only be carried out on dry windless days and so it is not possible to publish an accurate programme.

Glyphosate has no residual effect and is effective on healthy growing plants only. This means that weeds must be growing when spraying takes place and that new weed seed can germinate immediately after application. It is therefore inevitable that there will be some weed in paths prior to spraying and regrowth from seed not long after the operation.

Weed treatment on grass verges is carried out to prevent encroachment on paths and minimise damage to trees caused by strimmers and mowers. No treatment is carried out to control indigenous plants such as dandelion.

Invasive weeds

Giant Hogweed - As Giant Hogweed poses a potential risk to health, where it occurs on accessible council land it will be treated wherever possible.

Japanese Knotweed – When notified and where resources allow we will treat to control Japanese Knotweed on council land where it occurs:

  • Within 5m of the boundary to adjoining residential land
  • If it poses a threat to sensitive wildlife habitats
  • If established on an area to be designated for mowing
  • If growing in an ornamental area

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