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 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.

Weed growth

Die back can be recognised across the borough from the annual weed spray, and Ubico, the council's environmental services provider, have begun the process of manual weed ripping across the borough. 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 cheltenhamWeed ripping has started in the town centre and will continue throughout the borough wards.

To 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. 

Ground flailing (cutting) the large stretches of grass verges on semi rural roads will be starting at the end of June through to October. 

Weed spraying

As we did last year, we have 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 years one-off weed spray, targeting areas across the town, spraying around obstacles, such as the base of trees and sign posts and on paved areas and road edges, has now been completed. Find out 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. The process involves clearing weeds from hard landscape areas, footways and around the base of trees and non-living obstacles, such as lighting columns, signage, and street furniture. The weed spraying also targets 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 due regard has been taken of nearby watercourses, drains, other environmental factors and neighbouring properties. 

Latest update: 22 June 2023

Weed spraying around the borough has now been completed and weed ripping is in progress.

Maps of the weed spraying locations are available by selecting links below. You can also check the master map to see what area your road may fall under for weed removal. Weed was completed in the following areas:

Hedge cutting and alleyway clearance

Hedge cutting across the town has been suspended as per Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). Cutting will start again at the beginning 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 (for example mowing and strimming) for highways alleyways is due to start late September 2023 and the alleyways due to be cleared will be listed below nearer the time.