Grasscutting maintenance update

Parks and environment

Published: Tuesday, 26th May 2020

We have provided an update on our grasscutting policy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We began grasscutting on Monday 20 April in active cemeteries and open spaces, including sports pitches, using tractors and ride-on machinery only. This is line with what the Scottish Government has now defined as essential grasscutting.

These works see staff able to follow social distancing guidance and wear appropriate PPE.

These locations were chosen as without maintenance the grass will grow too long and leave these areas unavailable for use for an extended period beyond the end of the current COVID-19 restrictions.

The decision to use tractors and ride-on machinery only was made to maintain social distancing, which is vitally important to ensure the safety of members of the public and staff.

Cemeteries

Grasscutting in active cemeteries has been carried out by ride-on machinery, with no strimming or weedkilling yet undertaken.

We intend to return to its usual maintenance standards, as far as possible, by temporarily closing cemeteries while grasscutting takes place to ensure social distancing is continued.

Why have you not cut grass in other areas yet?

We are currently unable to cut grass at other areas we usually maintains with pedestrian mowers or strimming for two reasons:

  • Firstly, to carry out these activities requires multiple staff, which presents significant social distancing difficulties for employees travelling to and from sites together within work vehicles. It also presents issues with staff coming into contact with members of the public while grasscutting.
  • Secondly, there are demands for additional staff in many services, including refuse collection and the forthcoming opening of community recycling centres on 1 June.

Cutting frequency

When grasscutting services fully resume, the frequency of cutting will generally be in line with our normal approach, which is 10 working days for sports pitches, key civic spaces and high amenity areas, or 20 working days in general amenity grass areas including cemeteries.

Footpath weedkilling within urban areas is now underway and weather permitting should be completed by early June.

Tracey Logan, Chief Executive

“We appreciate that grasscutting activities are important to the upkeep and appearance of communities across the Borders.

“However, at this challenging time we must prioritise essential services such as burials and kerbside waste collections, as well as community recycling centres.

“The safety of our staff and the public is our number one priority and our approach to carrying out essential maintenance only is in line with a number of other Scottish councils and local Registered Social Landlords.

“This approach will be regularly reviewed and any changes will be communicated with the public.”

Further updates on our services is available.