Grounds maintenance

The council maintains most of the green spaces in the borough including sport pitches, open spaces, play areas, road side verges and the Worting Road Cemetery. In addition, we plant and maintain floral displays, shrubs and hedges.

Grass cutting

Most general open space is cut about eight times a year from early April to the end of October. This is dependent on the weather and ground conditions. Rough grass areas such as the verges on ring roads are cut six times a year.

We do not cut grass that is:

  • privately owned
  • on properties/estates not owned by the council
  • outside of the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council boundary

Please assist us by:

  • not parking on grass verges
  • not placing decorative stones or logs on verges as these can be dangerous
  • removing your wheelie bin from the verge as soon as possible after it has been emptied
Cutting grass verges outside of your house

You should be aware of the possible risk of injury to yourself, passing pedestrians and traffic. If you would like to do this you are advised to contact us. You will also need to contact us if you wish to stop maintaining any area.

An area of my estate hasn't been cut

This could be because:

  • it is suffering from a problem such as localised water logging
  • it is not always possible to finish a whole estate in one day and the team may need to come back the next day to finish off
  • the land may belong to someone else, such as Hampshire County Council, Sentinel Housing Association or Sovereign Housing Association or a developer
  • the area has wild flowers and/or bulb plantings and is cut on a different frequency
  • it may require a smaller pedestrian mower or may be cut by larger equipment such as a tractor fitted with gang mowers
Grass cuttings not being removed

The quantities would amount to thousands of tonnes a year, removal of which would result in unacceptable costs and an unacceptable carbon footprint. The cuttings add nutrients (nitrogen) into the ground, which strengthens the grass and improves growth.

Grass cutting in rural areas

We cut grass in the borough’s rural towns and villages, for example Tadley, Overton, Whitchurch and Kingsclere, but do not mow verges adjacent to high speed roads such as the B3400, A340 and the A339. These are the responsibility of Hampshire County Council.

My property has been damaged while council staff are cutting the grass

If you consider that your property has been damaged by an employee of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, please contact us.

No Mow May

Many areas of our land are not mown until the autumn each year, to encourage the biodiversity of the area. We also increase our bulb stock every year and this provides a very early nectar source for pollinators.

While No Mow May gives a snapshot of flowering for nectar-using insects, there are limited long term benefits for biodiversity if the area is mown immediately afterwards.

Natural habitats need time to establish and develop. It is therefore better to carry out longer term, properly managed biodiversity programmes such as the Biodiversity Improvement Zone in Hatch Warren and Beggarwood.

Conservation mowing late summer

Sites are being managed as a wildflower meadow to provide vital habitat for pollinators and other invertebrates as well as birds and small mammals. Annual mowing is an essential part of this management.

Wildflower plants thrive in areas with low nutrient levels where faster-growing plants such as grasses and thistles are unable to dominate. To create the right conditions, we mow the grass and remove all the cuttings, reducing the amount of nutrients returned to the soil. We mow late in the summer which gives the wildflowers time to produce and set seed for the following year.

Transporting all the cuttings off site is time consuming and expensive, so we leave them in a designated area which is out of the way to decompose over time. Leaving the cuttings in this way allows any bugs which were accidentally collected during mowing to escape. They also serve as habitat for many animal species themselves.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact wildlifeconservation@basingstoke.gov.uk

Shrubs and hedges

These are generally cut back once a year during the winter months. At all other times of the year a response team is available to deal with overgrown footpaths and sight line problems.

Hedge cutting doesn't take place from the end of March until autumn due to nesting birds unless there are health and safety reasons such as impeded sight lines or public right of ways or risk of harm to pedestrians or motorists. A risk assessment will take place where hedges need to be cut back in these instances to make sure that wildlife is not adversely affected.

Reporting an issue

If there is an issue with overgrown footpaths and sight line problems you can report this to us.

Report an issue with grass, hedges, weeds and leaves

Weed control

Basingstoke and Deane uses non-residual herbicide and mulching techniques to control weeds in soft landscape areas. We arrange the chemical control of weeds to highway surfaces on behalf of Hampshire County Council.  Two applications are applied per year.  The chemical used is Roundup Pro, the active ingredient of which is Glyphosate.  This is a non-toxic product that does not harm pets or wildlife.  All our operatives and contractors are qualified to National Proficiency Testing Council standard.

Floral display

Flower beds, hanging baskets, towers and other planters can be seen throughout Basingstoke. These provide colourful seasonal displays and our team take great pride in their maintenance.

Compost and soil

All compost and soil used by the council is peat free. This includes any soil bought as part of bedding plants. In addition, all plastic pots and trays are returned to nurseries for reuse.

Naturalistic areas

Over the years the council has planted thousands of spring flowering bulbs, such as crocus and daffodils, throughout the borough. Most of these bulbs are planted in drifts providing a beautiful display of colour during early spring.

After the blooms have faded the grass is left uncut to allow the leaves to continue to photosynthesize and then die back naturally returning energy to the bulb ready for flowering again the following year. The grass in these areas will get longer than in the surrounding areas and will only be cut and removed in June. This has the added benefit of allowing early flowering wild flowers to flourish in these areas boosting the borough’s biodiversity.

As part of our biodiversity action plan a number of verges and areas around the borough are left uncut. This allows rare wildflowers, such as orchids, to flourish and provides food for a variety of insects. These areas are cut once in the late summer/autumn to prevent course grasses from taking over. They include:

  • Tollhouse Meadow, Chineham
  • Crabtree Plantation
  • Down Grange Meadow
  • Old Down
  • The Knowlings
  • Bere Hill
  • Wildlife Area, Eastrop Park
  • The Lip, War Memorial Park
  • The Mill Field
  • Garrett Close, Kingsclere

The impact of climate change

Climate change has increased the growing season by 24 days in the last 30 years. Increased CO², rising temperatures and excessive rainfall has and will continue to expedite grass growth.

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