Vegetation can grow rapidly, especially during favourable weather. If you encounter or observe a problem with an overgrown verge, the sooner we are made aware of it the better.
We carry out regular safety inspections of our roads, and as part of the inspection process we aim to identify grass verges which have become overgrown and which may pose a hazard to highway users.
Verges are cut to:
- maintain visibility for road users, especially on road junctions, visibility splays and crossroads
- keep traffic signs clear
- keep verges passable for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists
Verges provide important habitats for a variety of species of insects and animals. As a consequence, we cut a limited width of most rural verges only once a year. By keeping the width of cutting to a minimum, the remaining verge area can provide an important habitat for wildflowers and wildlife.
Six categories of ragwort currently grow in Britain. However, none threaten livestock as much as common ragwort (senecio jaceobaea). The weed may also be harmful to humans, if handled without gloves.
Although common ragwort poses a risk, it supports a number of insect species. Where possible, we hope to preserve the biodiversity of our roadside verges. Therefore, we don't carry out eradication on a large scale. However, it's our policy to carry out localised treatment where significant infestations are found on the roadside verge. This is particularly important where the spread of the weed threatens animals grazing in adjacent fields.
If you've identified a significant infestation, or are concerned about common ragwort on roadside verges please contact our customer services on 0345 678 9006, or report it online by clicking the green button on this page.