Rural Verges as Wildlife Corridors – A Reduction in Rural Grass Cutting Trial

Background

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) have received an increased level of Member and resident contact regarding the rural roads verge cutting service over the past two years. The correspondence is largely made up of requests to stop cutting rural verges or change the schedule and frequency.

Due to the heightened interest in the ecological value of roadside verges and their contribution to the landscape and character of the County, ESCC are undertaking a trial to reduce the rural grass cutting service in selected Towns and Parishes.

Trial Areas

The trial was offered to Twelve Parish and Town Councils to provide a good coverage across the county and keep the trial a manageable size.

The following Parish and Town Councils opted to take part in the trial:

Change to Service in Trial Areas

At present rural grass verges receive two cuts per year. The first cut starts in May and the second in Autumn. These are carried out as a 1m wide swathe and visibility splays at junctions and on the inside of bends where sight lines between road users may be obscured by vegetation.

The trial reduces the rural grass cutting service in the selected areas to:

  • One visibility cut undertaken around May/June
  • One 1 metre Swathe with Visibility cuts in the Autumn

We want to hear from you!

As part of the trial we will be monitoring the verges, alongside the local councils and their wildlife organisations to record what grows.

We would also like to hear about what you see, and your feedback to the trial.

You can submit your thoughts and findings on our webform below.

The responses from this form will be reviewed once the trial has finished and we will then provide an overview of the trial and any next steps.

Please note, responses will not be regularly monitored nor responded to individually; any issues should be reported using the usual avenues.  

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FAQs

What about safety and visibility?

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How do I report a problem about highway visibility?

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Is this reduction being done to save money?

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What rural cuts are other Parish and Town Councils Receiving in East Sussex?

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Will this be a permanent change?

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Does this affect Urban Grass cutting?

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What will be done about the litter in verges?

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Does a verge have to have flowers to benefit ecology?

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Why do some verges have more flowers than others and as a result are much more attractive?

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Now that it’s July/August, the flowers have all died and the verges are looking brown and untidy, why don’t you cut them?

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I live in the area where the trial will take place, why wasn’t I consulted?

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