Verge cutting – contracts and weed control

1. On the road verge network you are responsible for maintaining, are you or your services contractor implementing a mowing regime to benefit wild flowers?
* If yes, can you outline your management practices (e.g. cutting verges later in the year, cutting them less often, collecting the arisings).
* If not, are you or your contractor planning on implementing one from 2021 or beyond?

Yes, this information is available online at:

Managing verges for wildlife

2. If you or your contractor are implementing such a scheme, what has prompted you to do so (eg. cost savings, reduced CO2 emissions, the impacts of the pandemic)? What benefits, if any, have you seen? And what, if any, problems have you encountered?

Devon County Council has encouraged a cutting regime to benefit wild flowers for over 25 years. Special verges are identified. The council has reduced cutting to visibility areas since 2015 and although this decision was largely driven by a need to find savings, it has had an added benefit of helping biodiversity along the roadside.

3. If you or your contractor have not implemented one, what, if any, reasons are preventing you (eg, safety concerns, lack of information, resident views)?

Following our response to question 2 we do not hold this information

4. What is your approach to using glyphosate for weed control?

The overall objective is to control the impact of weeds rather than eradicate all growth.  Limited control of excessive weed growth on hard surfaces such as carriageways, footways and cycle ways will be undertaken on a reactive basis where the size and density of the weed growth may create a hazard to the highway user or result in serious damage to the structure or surface. Manual control methods will be used to remove excessive weeds on hard areas. The total, non-residual herbicide glyphosate will be used to control weeds on filter / French drains. The herbicide will be applied to the weed growth only. The glyphosate used will be that approved for use near watercourses i.e. aquatic approval.