Grass cutting

We cut grass verges along the majority of Norfolk’s roads between May and September each year. Public rights of way are dealt with separately.

In urban areas we cut roadside verges four times throughout the cutting season. Some boroughs and districts may cut more frequently.

Roads in between towns and villages are classed as rural grass cutting routes and are cut twice a year. The first rural cut is a cut of the full network. The second cut is of the A & B class network with the C & U class network being treated at junction visibility splays only. These are generally on roads with a speed limit of 40mph and above between village entry signs.  We cut up to approximately 1m from the edge of the carriageway or footway, to ensure that vegetation does not restrict visibility for road users.

Sometimes we aren’t able to cut grass on a verge, this could be due to:

  • A parked vehicle
  • Daffodils or wild flowers in bloom
  • Decorative stones
  • Bins left out

We log missed cuts and aim to return to missed areas if necessary, If this is not possible it will be picked up on our next scheduled cut.

We only cut grass for safety reasons, not appearance

Grass cuttings are not collected as the cost of collection and disposal is considerable.

Leaving them is also good for the environment - grass clippings add nutrients back into the soil, prevent some weeds and preserve moisture, helping keep grass healthy and green.

Our cutting teams blow cuttings onto the verge if weather conditions allow, and will not leave the site in a dangerous condition.

You are allowed to maintain the grass near your property.

If you do choose to maintain the grass, you should make sure you avoid the risk of injury to yourself, road users and pedestrians.

We don’t cut grass on privately-owned land or on developments that have not yet been adopted.

We only cut rural verges approximately 1m from the highway.  It is the property owner's responsibility to maintain verges to private access routes that lead from the highway onto non-highway land.

Some weeds spread quickly and can cause a lot of damage to hard surfaces, which is costly to repair.

We spray weeds on adopted roads and pavements, and also deal with ragwort, thistles, nettles, brambles and giant hogweed on roads.

Weed killing normally starts in May with a second treatment in July or August.

We treat weeds with an environmentally friendly weed killer, which works on contact with weeds and is harmless to humans and animals.  It is approved for use by the EU and the HSE Chemicals Regulation Directorate.  The weed killer that we use is no stronger than products sold at DIY stores.

Once sprayed brown spots will start to appear, but it takes around four weeks for the herbicide to kill weeds completely.  This can be delayed by wind and rain.

Norfolk's roadside verges are rich in wild flowers. It is inevitable that some flowers will be cut but only for safety reasons. Cutting at sites of specific scientific interested (SSSIs) and roadside nature reserves (RNRs) are not subject to the same cutting regime and are generally left until later in the season. 

Only the first metre of the verge or bank are cut unless visibility is an issue at corners and junctions. Over the years the range and spread of flowers and diversity has improved.

We try to keep to the grass cutting schedule, but sometimes problems like bad weather can delay a cut.  When this happens we try to catch up as soon as possible.

Please be aware that we only cut grass for safety reasons, not appearance.

If overgrown grass is causing a problem you can tell us about it. Please be aware, it may be cut by your district or parish council. A list of contact details is available above, under Who is responsible for grass cutting.

Report a safety concern