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  1. 1. Anti-social behaviour
  2. 2. Cleaning issues (street cleansing)
  3. 3. You are here: Grass cutting and greenspaces

3. Grass cutting and greenspaces

Find out about our approach to grass cutting in the borough and what you can expect to see.

Grass cutting on council-owned and common land

Our Greenspaces team work extremely hard all year round to keep our borough’s parks and open spaces clean and attractive places to enjoy. Grass cutting season usually takes place between March-October each year. Each cutting cycle takes about five weeks and the teams continually cut until the end of the grass growing season. Wet weather or unavoidable staff absences, such as illness or annual leave, can sometimes mean we have to adjust our grass cutting plans.

Once a year, we review the grass cutting schedules in particular areas in the borough, such as along Pendleton Road, Dover’s Green Road and Castle Drive to help support the annual No Mow May campaign. By delaying cutting, we improve the biodiversity within these sites, helping wildlife such as bees and butterflies thrive.

We will continue to cut the grass on highway verges for traffic safety reasons. We’ll also carry out the essential mowing in other areas, such as our parks, to avoid overgrowth and for public safety.

We also encourage residents to support No Mow May at home. Consider not cutting your grass for the month and let the wildflowers in your lawn bloom, providing plenty of nectar for hungry pollinators!

The grass cutting schedule below details approximately how long it takes to mow each area of the borough

 

Grass cutting schedule

Order of Cutting by Area

Approximate number of days taken to complete each time

Horley - Langshott

 4

Salfords - Whitebushes

 2

Woodhatch - South Park

 2

Merstham

 0.5

Redhill

 2

Hooley - Chipstead

 1

Banstead East

 2.5

Banstead - Nork

 3.5

Epsom Downs

 2.5

Tadworth

 2

Walton-on-the-hill

 0.5

Burgh Heath

 0.5

Kingswood

 0.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last summer some grass areas of council-owned land were left to grow a little longer to form natural wild meadows. As well as being attractive to look at, these are great for the environment and help wildlife to thrive. These areas of land were cut in the late summer to prevent the growth of any scrubs and dominant vegetation. We plan to take this same approach each year.

We also relaxed the grass cutting schedule on selected areas of designated common land and all countryside areas that are already being retained for the benefit of biodiversity. See below for a full list of areas where this is taking place:

Parks

  • Brook Road – behind houses on left hand side
  • Radstock Way – top half
  • Tattenham Recreation Ground – around pond area
  • Lonesome Lane fields
  • New pond – bottom end of field
  • Castle Ground banks
  • Priory Park - some areas 
  • Wray Common (windmill side) Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI)

Countryside

  • Petridgewood Common SNCI
  • Tanyard Meadows - all countryside areas
  • Chipstead Downs part Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
  • New Pond Farm SNCI
  • Small section of White Bushes Common SNCI
  • Merstham Bund
  • Nork Park (Part SNCI)
  • Holly Lane
  • Banstead Wildlife area – whole area
  • Reigate Heath – everything apart from the cottage bank roadside SSSI, LNR
  • Earlswood Common LNR, SNCI – selected areas will be cut for the enhancement of priority wildlife, more information can be found here.
  • Earlswood Lakes -some areas
  • Redhill Common – plateaux two cuts per year 

Banstead Common Conservators managed land

  • Banstead Heath:  92 hectares
  • Park Downs SSSI:  13.4 hectares
  • Banstead Downs SSSI: 21.1  hectares + 38.5  hectares (golf course)
  • Burgh Heath: 3.2 hectares

Common grass areas

  • Pendleton Road - sightline areas cut only
  • The Ring-Plough pub - three cuts a year
  • Whitepost Hill-Elm Road - three cuts a year
  • Pebble Hill-Dorking Road + pub - three cuts a year
  • Sandpit Lawns
  • Dovers Green-Castle Drive - sightlines only
  • Maple Way, common land areas only - three cuts a year
  • Skimmington Castle
  • Riverside Garden Park
  • Epsom Lane North

Grass cutting around highways

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s Greenspaces team is contracted by Surrey County Council to carry out four urban grass cuts and two rural grass cuts in a year on highway verges. In addition roadside verges continue to be cut to prevent any sightline and highway safety issues such as road users not being able to see oncoming traffic and cyclists being obstructed or struck by overgrown vegetation. Where selected areas of larger highway grass verges have been left to be cut in the late summer, a 1m strip next to the highway required as a minimum by Surrey County Council, will continue to be cut throughout the year.

Highway verges managed for biodiversity

  • Langshott/Smallfield Road (grass area behind path edge)
  • Bone Hurst Road (wildflower section)
  • Woodhatch Green (section opposite Reigate School)
  • London Road North central reservation
  • Holly Lane central reservation
  • Fir Tree Road (large areas)
  • Rose Bushes (large green behind path edge)
  • Shelvers Green
  • A217 central reservations
  • Reigate Road grass bank area, junction of Nork Way
  • Benhams Drive roundabout area - sight lines only

Grass Cutting on Commons

Historically commons have been mown up to three times per year, the first being in late April/early May, followed by a mid-Summer mow in July, and finally a late Summer mow in September. The purpose of this frequency is for three reasons:

  • Vigorous herbaceous species such as cow parsley, plantain, and dandelion are prevented from completely taking over an area of grassland.  Although all species are undeniably good for insects, they grow prolifically throughout the season and therefore will come back in between mowing times. Areas that are known to be naturally more species rich have been identified, and the mowing regimes have been adjusted to cater for this – for example, the meadows at Petridgewood Common and Earlswood Common are only mown in late summer to allow nature to develop. There are also many areas outside of the commons that are managed the same, such as New Pond Farm, Tanyard Meadows, Chipstead Downs and Nork Park, which account for large areas of the greenspaces estate.
     
  • Many of the commons are also used and valued for amenity purposes such as ball games, picnics etc. Periodic mowing maintains access for such activities. Complaints about long grass preventing such activities are also made, so a balance of nature and recreation is achieved by the cutting. An example of this is the top of Redhill Common, the mowing has been reduced to only twice per year in spring and late Summer.  
     
  • Many of the commons are abutted by roads and properties – with long dry summers now a regular occurrence, the risk of grass fires is much higher. Periodic mowing reduces the risk of fires spreading, and again complaints are made when areas of grass are left too long.

A bigger picture must be considered when managing large tracts of open space that takes into account nature, amenity, and protection of infrastructure. These factors are well balanced at present.

We will continue to look at ways to help and support ‘No Mow May’.

Report it to us  

You can report things to our greenspaces team using the forms below:

If the highways matter you want to report is an emergency or you think is dangerous, call Surrey County Council’s Contact Centre on 0300 200 1003. Potholes are also the responsibility of  Surrey County Council and can be reported using the potholes online form.