Dear Parish / Town Clerk,
As we begin to leave the colder weather behind us and move into spring we are planning for this year’s verge cutting programme. As with last year we will be cutting the verges twice as contracted; our first verge cut is currently scheduled to take place around the May Bank Holiday and the second cut towards the end of the growing season towards the end of August. Specific timings may vary dependent on environment conditions and growth.
Last year we had listened to feedback from many parishes who wished to have only the second verge cut in the late summer where there was a wish to encourage greater biodiversity in the verge. By having only one cut any wildflowers in the verge are given the opportunity to flower and set seed over the summer providing food for key pollinators and also habitat for wildlife.
I am pleased to communicate that we are again open to feedback from the Parishes as to whether you wish to have 1 cut carried out towards the end of the growing season or whether you wish for us to carry out 2 cuts. Whilst we are happy to consider Parishes that may wish to identify specific roads or stretches that are to be left during the first cut, we will refer to the Locality Steward for feedback in relation to safety concerns. During the last cutting season, our contractors were required to return to areas due to safety concerns after stretches of roads had been requested to be left. Please note, ALL verges will receive a second cut towards the end of the cutting season. I am aware that some Clerks have already indicated that they wish to be included for this year’s programme but I would ask that you would indicate your preference in reply to this email so that I can co-ordinate the responses and help build the programme with our grounds maintenance team.
If you have any roads that you would like to nominate to not receive a cut please can I ask that you responses are returned by Thursday 31st March 2022. Herefordshire Council’s interactive map is available at https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/travel-transport/highways-public-rights-way-map where the road name/number can be found by clicking on the line. Alternatively, you can pin point the locations using Grid Reference Finder at https://gridreferencefinder.com/. Whilst we appreciate the request for a section of a road to not receive a cut, this can be difficult to communicate to the contractor physically carrying out the works and therefore, we encourage full road lengths to not receive cuts as opposed to sections of road. However, we will of course consider all requests and communicate if there are any issues posed.
Safety is of paramount importance so any locations on A & B class roads cannot be considered. Visibility splays and junctions will continue to receive regular cuts though the growing season as well as our teams making reactive visits to sites that are identified through feedback to our customers services team or Locality Stewards.
Locality Liaison Coordinator| Balfour Beatty Living Places | Herefordshire