Mow, mow, mow the grass

East Sussex Highways logoTHE HIGHWAYS grass cutting programme is currently underway across East Sussex.

Each year the highways team will cut around 560 hectares (1,381 acres) of grass on verges and at junctions across the county.

The urban grass cutting programme begins in April and continues until November. The majority of urban verges, which are along roads in built up areas with a speed limit of up to 40mph, are cut twice a year.

Verges on rural roads also receive two cuts a year as well as additional cuts at junctions and where it is necessary to increase visibility for safety reasons. The work starts in late May and continues until December.

Designated wildlife verges are cut once year, in the autumn once the annual flowering has finished. An expanded trial is also underway again this year to reduce rural grass cutting to a single cut in some areas to further support biodiversity across the county.

Cllr Claire Dowling, East Sussex County Council lead member for transport and environment, said; “Our contractors work hard during the spring and summer months to cut back faster growing grass and hedges which can obscure signs or block a driver’s line of sight, and they continue maintaining road verges well into the autumn.

“As part of our work to protect our natural environment, there are now 176 wildlife verges in East Sussex.

“By simply reducing mowing and allowing these verges to grow we can conserve the local biodiversity and create environments that allow rare wildflowers, such as the Lizard orchid and Spiked Rampion, to flourish and offer a vital refuge for pollinators and other wildlife.”

Cuttings are not collected after the grass has been mown to help keep costs down and, as they are biodegradable and mulch down quickly, leaving them on the verge helps to slow re-growth.

The grass cutting schedule, which is updated weekly and subject to change due to the weather, is available on the East Sussex Highways website at

Some Parish and Town Councils will receive six urban cuts annually if they choose to pay East Sussex Highways to carry out an additional four cuts per year.

Parish and Town Councils also have the option to take on the responsibility to deliver all the urban grass cutting in their area. The verges cut by the Town or Parish Council have a different schedule to East Sussex Highways.