Nottinghamshire County Council wages war on roadside weeds

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WITH forecasters predicting a shift in the weather and the prospect of drier conditions over the next few days, Nottinghamshire County Council is waging war on roadside weeds.

The recent prolonged wet conditions have meant that the County Council has been unable to carry out weed spraying to the extent that it normally would at this time of year.

For weed-killer to work effectively it has to be applied when there is a period of three consecutive dry days – a rare event in recent weeks.

“I know that people having been getting frustrated by the sight of weeds sprouting up everywhere, but conditions really have been against us,” says Coun Richard Jackson, chairman of the County Council’s highways and transport committee.

“People are often under the impression that the County Council uses some sort of super-strength weed-killer which destroys everything in its path.

“The fact is that, by law, the stuff we use is no stronger than that which you can buy off the shelf at your local DIY store – and, for it to work properly and safely, it has to be applied when conditions are dry and there is no risk of it being washed away.

“To continue spraying during all the torrential rain we’ve had over the past few weeks would have been absolutely futile.”

Now though, with weather experts predicting a return to more usual summer conditions, battle has commenced again and the County Council’s highways teams are out and about, not only weed-spraying but also cutting grass verges.

The Council is responsible for cutting more than 5,000 kilometres of grass verge right across the county, with grass cutting taking place from April to the end of September – and possibly into October, depending on the weather.

Cutting takes place across the county in both rural and urban areas and in the latter is carried out five times within the season. Strimming around obstacles, such as benches and signposts, is done after the second and fourth cut.