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Grass cutting

Grass cutting

Maintaining grass, parks and open spaces

Our contractors, Tivoli Group Ltd, maintain and cut grass on:

  • Highway verges
  • Parks and open spaces
  • Children's play areas, youth shelters, skate parks and multi-use games areas
  • Cemeteries at St. Sebastian’s (Finchampstead), Grovelands Road Cemetery (Spencers Wood), and St Mary’s Closed Cemetery (Shinfield)
  • Sports pitches and tennis courts
  • Some ponds, lakes and watercourses
  • Grassland and wildflower areas 

How often grass is cut

There's no set period of time between cuts.

We're only able to give a rough guide of 4 weeks between cuts during growing season, which is between April and September: 

  • Times vary according to weather conditions
  • Difficult conditions can often have a knock on effect when cutting is being carried out
  • Long periods of dry weather may mean we don't need to cut the grass

Grass is cut to the following standards:

  • Grass should be no longer than 125mm (5 inches) and no shorter than 30mm (1 inch) in general grass areas, most urban highway verges and parks. We may leave grass longer in some areas, such as meadows.

You can see more about grass cutting below:

In some areas we'll let the grass grow longer:

  • Where suitable, large highway verges in both rural and urban areas will be left to turn into grassland habitats, but with grass cut regularly around the fringes to ensure grass does not encroach onto pathways, roads or obstruct sight lines
  • In parkland and other open spaces where appropriate we'll allow margins of grassland to develop instead of cutting right up to the park boundary
  • We we'll avoid cutting grass right up to the bases of trees and instead allow the grass to grow to prevent possible damage to trees

Our contractors are required to look after grass areas to provide a generally maintained appearance, which includes:

  • Carrying out a uniform cut
  • Giving due care and attention to grassed perimeter edges and any obstacles, for example fence posts and trees
  • Litter should be cleared from grass areas before cutting, with 
  • Litter should be collected where grass areas have been cut exposing litter not previously seen
  • Paths and surrounding edges should be free of clippings

Grass cutting crews operate in teams of 2 or 3 operators and will usually consist of 1 ride-on mower operator and 1 or 2 strimmer or blower operators.

Due to the speed of the ride-on mower, the strimmer or blower can often be left behind. The distance gap between them can be up to 24 hours. 

Please wait at least 24 hours before contacting us as the contractors may already be en route.

Clippings are left on site to compost down. It's not feasible to collect grass cuttings as it would be very labour intensive, carries excessive waste costs and is not economically viable.

This is not a service that has ever been provided by us.

Generally our contractors will not be able to return to cut a missed patch. We receive numerous requests for the contractors to return. 

If we authorise all of these requests the normal routes would be severely disrupted causing further delays to the rest of the borough. 

Why we missed an area

There are many reasons why an area of grass may have been missed. See some of the most common below.

Daffodils and tulips

In areas where daffodil and tulip bulbs have been flowering we'll leave the grass until 6 weeks after the flowers have finished blooming to ensure they return the following spring. 

We'll cut the grass during the next round of cutting.

Where a resident has been maintaining it

If we find an area where it looks like a resident is maintaining it we won't cut it. 

This is because if a resident is taking care of an area they are likely to be upset by our large machinery leaving possible damage or a poor cut to the carefully attended area. 

If you want the contractors to cut the grass, please don't cut it yourself and leave it to be cut during the next visit.

Rare wildflowers, birds or animals

If we get reports of rare wildflowers, birds or animals in an area we won't cut the grass in the area to protect the species for a time, for example until the end of the nesting season.

Standing water

If there's standing water in an area which is stopping us cutting the grass we'll leave it and try to cut in the next round.

If you believe an area of Council owned land has been missed

Email our Customer services and providing: 

  • exact details of the area using the nearest property address if possible 

We'll check the area and raise this with our contractors so it is not missed during the next grass cutting round.

  • Our contractors use a glyphosate-based, non-residual, weed spray which is wildly used and does not cause harm to wildlife
  • To reduce any impact to the environment and prevent any unnecessary spread or weed killer, weed spraying does not take place during wet or windy weather
  • Generally, we will not carry out manual de-weeding as it can cause damage to roads and footpaths and does not kill the weed, preventing it from returning
  • You will normally expect weed killer to take effect 4 to 6 weeks after spraying
  • Invasive weeds such as Japanese Knotweed are managed under our Grounds Maintenance contract


We're not legally obliged to cut grass to stop weeds. 

We can't authorise additional work to manage dandelions or other weed seeds from dispersing.

Our contractors cut to a certain standard. 

There are some issues that can interfere with that standard.


where there are uneven ground levels a tyre of the mower can dip down causing the blade to scalp over lumps or slopes of uneven ground. 

This is not intentional and often cannot be helped. The contractors will not be sent back to rectify the damage. 

Tufts or uneven grass

Where there is long grass growth, machinery will often have problems cutting through the amount of grass and may not leave an even cut: 

You may see tufts or ridges of longer grass. This is due to the wheels of the machine pushing the long grass flat as they pass over. Once pushed flat it is missed by the blades. 

This cannot be prevented when dealing with long grass and the contractors will not be sent back to rectify the issue. 

Sending the contractors back disrupts the rounds and may cause further delays between cuts across the Borough.

Tell us the cutting hasn't met our standards

If you see an area where the standards are not being met, you can email our Customer services.

We believe that it is every owner’s responsibility to collect their dog’s waste and that the benefits of biodiverse areas outweigh the potential increase in dog fouling. 

It is the dog owner’s responsibility to collect all waste regardless of the grass height or environment.

We have sympathy for dog owners and do not seek to reduce the enjoyment of walking your dog.

Ticks live in areas of dense vegetation such as grassland and woodland locations, so we encourage those enjoying these environments to take care along with pet owners. 

Ticks are easily removed and it is important to examine your dog after a walk regardless of whether they have been taken through woodlands or grasslands. 

Where we have introduced long grass areas we are ensuring that there are still plenty of areas of regularly cut areas for all to enjoy.

Top tips to avoid ticks include:

  • Keep to footpaths where possible
  • Wear long-sleeved tops and trousers when in woodland and grassland areas 
  • Use insect repellent on exposed skin
  • Keep a look-out for ticks after being in a tick environment so any can be removed promptly 

There is no legal obligation to cut the grass for hay fever purposes. 

We sympathise for hay fever sufferers, however studies show the wider health, wellbeing and ecosystem benefits from allowing grassland areas far outweigh the negative impact on hay fever sufferers. 

In grassland and meadow areas, we will time cuts of grassland areas when the pollen becomes more dense and less dispersed, this is typically outside the critical period of May, June and July.

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