This year’s grounds maintenance contract includes a schedule for mowing and bed maintenance activities. The management of the contract is undertaken by Parks & Countryside with works including cutting the grass plots within housing areas and highway verges along with the pruning and weeding of planted areas such as shrub and rose beds.  At each of the maintenance visits litter is removed by the contractor. All of these works are undertaken by an external contractor called “Continental Landscapes Ltd”.

Weed control to hard surfaces such as footpaths and areas within housing estates are similarly contracted out and this work is now being delivered by Languard Ltd.

During the winter of 2014/15 a 3 year programme of improvements to housing estate shrub and rose beds commenced that will see a layer of wood mulch applied to the surface immediately following winter maintenance. The mulch has been generated from waste recycling materials from forestry operations across the city and will suppress weed growth and improve the appearance of the beds.

Major tasks are undertaken on a rotating basis, for example amenity grass alongside roadways or in housing estates is scheduled for up to 14 cuts per annum but this may fluctuate with the weather or ground conditions. Grass that runs alongside roads that carry higher speed traffic is scheduled for 6 cuts per annum as traffic management arrangements are required for this type of operation.

Work to cut back areas that affect sight lines and alongside rural roads has been removed from the Continental contract and will now revert to the Parks & Countryside service to allow Continental to concentrate on the delivery of the other services outlined above.

I often get asked why grass that is cut is not collected up, this has never been the case with any of the mowing contracts. Staff are required to clear any overspill on to hard surfaces and put it back on to the grass plots.