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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans for our places and open spaces

Grounds Maintenance - Grass cutting, weeds, hedges and trees

countryside

The Councils Grounds Maintenance team manage and maintain Council owned land which includes parks, cemeteries, recreational areas, open spaces and country parks.  Maintenance works will vary due to the nature/use of the land which involves grass cutting, vegetation and weed management including footpath treatment, tree and woodland management.

 

Grass cutting, hedge maintenance and weeding

Our grass cutting and weed spraying programme generally runs from the beginning of April and continues through to the end of October, although we respond to seasonal changes and may start or finish earlier than these times due to timings of growth.

Due to Government legislation, the only form of treatment which Local Authorities are permitted to use provide no barrier treatment to prevent the growth of fresh weeds which is why weeds can be evident even in areas where spraying has taken place.

Grounds maintenance work from the beginning of November through to the end of March mainly consist of pruning of shrub beds and hedges.

            Report a problem with a grassed area, overgrown vegetation or weeds        

 

Trees & Woodlands

The Council’s trees and woodlands are managed by a team of qualified Arborists.

Trees and woodlands are surveyed on a standard survey cycle of 1 to 3 years, depending on location, to assess their health and condition and identify any essential maintenance work.

Outside of this survey cycle the team will inspect and undertake works which they consider necessary in response to reports from the public.  This may include:

  •         Damaged, vandalised or fallen trees/branches
  •         Dead, dying or dangerous trees
  •         Tree’s causing an obstruction within the public highway or footpath
  •         Trees causing actual visible damage to property or interfering with structures, streetlights, cables, signage  etc

We will also respond to requests for general legal advice, guidance on Tree Preservation Orders (TPO's) and requests to plant memorial trees.

Trees which pose a direct risk to public safety and require immediate attention we would request that you contact our Customer Services team on 01642 391959 during our opening hours of 08:00-17:30 Mon-Fri, 09:30-12:30 Sat.  Outside of these hours please contact our Security Centre on 01642 528989 to report any incidents.

We will not register or respond to requests that are considered non-essential, non-statutory or contrary to good arboricultural practices: for instance a tree blocking sunlight, obstructing a view or shedding leaves and debris.  

Please also note: A landowner is entitled under common Law to cut overhanging branches or roots back to their boundary but not beyond.  However, you must check first if the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or you are within a Conservation Area as you will need to apply for permission first.

View the Council’s guide to Tree and Woodland Management Services 

 

Giant hogweed

Giant hogweed is a non-native invasive species that has been around for years – the treatment of it is the responsibility of the landowner.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council undertakes an annual chemical treatment programme on areas of Council-owned land across the Borough and on the Public Rights of Way network. This takes place in late Spring, when the plant is just starting to show, and it can take two to three years of repeated treatments to kill the plant.

We also respond to reports from members of the public – if the report relates to an area of Council-owned land we will carry out an inspection and follow-up with any necessary treatment and add the land to our annual treatment programme.

Where we know that there is giant hogweed on private land in the vicinity of the river, we refer this to the Tees Rivers Trust, an environmental charity which undertakes a chemical treatment programme of its own. We also offer advice to private land owners who have problems relating to giant hogweed. 

To report a giant hogweed problem, or to seek advice on how to treat it, please contact our Customer Services on 01642 391959.