Weed control

mass of grass and wild flowers including poppies, daisies and cornflowers

To support biodiversity, we have created diverse grassland habitats in many of our green spaces. Pittville Park, Benhall Open Space, and Springfields Park are just a few where extensive natural grassland is supporting bird species where they hadn't previously existed. In other other areas we have allowed intensively cut grass to grow long which supports valuable pollinating insect populations, and established perennial planting schemes to replace seasonal bedding in town centre parks.

Latest update - 6 May 2022

Last year we made a commitment to reduce the amount of weed spraying by at least half to protect the insects and bees and support our environment, and that is just what we're doing. This year a one off weed spray targeting areas across the town will commence 16 May 2022. Please click for more information on our alternatives to weed spraying. 

The process is to remove unwanted weed growth that may inhibit drainage channels or create trip hazards for the public. To clear weeds from hard landscape areas, footways and including the base around non-living obstacles. such as lighting column, signage, and street furniture, also targeting highways and council owned car parks.

The operator holds an appropriate NPTC certificate of competence and will have calibrated application equipment. The nozzle selection will take into account the volume of application and other product label recommendations to avoid drift and excessive application. Before starting application, the operator will check that the weather is suitable; members of the public are not going to be put at risk and that due regard has been taken of nearby watercourses, drains, other environmental factors and neighbouring properties. 

Weed spraying will start in the following areas and maps are available on the website by selecting links below. You can also check the master map to see what area your road may fall under.

Remaining areas to be completed are listed below

You'll notice the weeds dying off after a week or so. We will only be doing one weed spray to targeted areas this year, not two sprays.

Ubico, the council’s environmental services provider, will also be tidying up the worst of the weeds across the town by using our weed ripper which avoids the amount of weed spraying we have to do. The weed ripper is a very effective tool we can use to control weeds, although there are other things we're doing to reduce the amount of weed spraying needed.  During 2020 a lot of effort was put into a trial of various different methods of weed control to avoid weed spraying and we still continue each year to try to find the most environmentally friendly method.

councillors Dobie and Oliver with Ubico operative and weed ripper machine in cheltenhamTo reduce weed growth in gullies on roads, Ubico will also continue to sweep the roads with the mechanical road sweepers which not only gets rid of dirt and debris on the edge of roads but also stops germination of more weeds.

From the end of June you will notice the Ubico strimming crew out and about tidying up the weeds and long grass around street furniture – roads signs etc.  They will be starting in the town centre and moving out of town down Lansdown Road, up London Road and into Charlton Kings, Leckhampton, part of Shurdington Road and Warden Hill before moving on to the rest of the borough. 

Areas of wildflower planting may be left long as this is part of its management plan. Those areas of grass where you see daffodils growing in the spring are left until the end of June before the grass is cut down to help produce a good display of flowers the following spring.

Ground flailing (cutting) the large stretches of grass verges on semi rural roads will be starting at the end of June too and this will be repeated in October. 

Hedge cutting

Hedge cutting across the town has now suspended as per Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). Cutting will recommence at the start of August unless the bird nesting season is extended. If hedges do need cutting in this period due to health and safety requirements, a full inspection will be carried out.

Alleyway clearance

Alleyway clearance (for example mowing and strimming) is due to start late May 2022 and the alleyways due to be cleared will be listed below nearer the time.