You can report an overgrown verge or hedge here.
When you contact us, please give us the following information:
- Your name and phone number, in case we need to contact you
- The name of the road or junction
- Whether the location is usually cut by us, if you know
The highway network is vital to the people of Somerset and the local economy. During the growing season we carry out a number of environmental maintenance operations to help keep all road users safe.
We manage roadside vegetation to:
- preserve visibility sight lines at junctions and bends
- provide a pedestrian refuge if there is no footway
- maximise the nature conservation value of highway land, where this does not conflict with safety requirements
Highway verges are cut to a minimum of one metre in width from the road side to provide a safe area for pedestrians, preserve visibility and help the flow of surface water along road channels. Visibility sight lines are also cut so that it is easier for road users and pedestrians to see at road junctions and on bends. Each highway verge, including junction visibilities, will be cut once during this season, except A and B road junction visibilities which will be cut twice.
In certain urban areas, grass cutting is carried out by District Councils. You can get more information about the standard used from your respective District Council. Please note, West Somerset Council does not undertake grass cutting on highway verges.
Grass cutting in rural areas normally starts in early to mid-May. The busiest routes are cut first because of the higher volumes of traffic using them.
This is our grass cutting programme.
A and B roads (including visibility splays)
16 May to 10 June
C and unclassified roads
13 June to 5 August
A and B visibility splays only
Mid to late August depending on the rate of growth
Environmentally protected sites
Usually at the end of the growing season
Please note, grass cutting may be affected by the weather and the dates listed above may change.
Hedges and banks
Where there are no verges and the roads are immediately bordered by a bank or hedge, a single vertical swathe of seasonal growth will be cut. However, the majority of hedges bordering the highway are privately owned. Under Section 154 of the Highways Act 1980 landowners and occupiers have to maintain their boundary, except between 1 March and 31 July (bird nesting season) to make sure their hedge, tree or shrub does not obstruct highway users or lines of sight at junctions. Landowners must also remove any debris from the road surface to prevent nuisance and to stop it blocking surface water drainage systems.
Under the Noxious Weeds Act 1959, certain noxious weeds, including ragwort, must be removed where they are reported as causing a nuisance to highway users or adjoining landowners. Other invasive species that we treat are Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed. If you know where these may be growing, please contact us and we will deal with it appropriately.
When we carry out all environmental works we seek to protect wildlife on roadside verges, while maintaining road safety. This is consistent with the Somerset Highways Biodiversity Manual.
For more information about environmental maintenance, please contact us.