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Ground and verge maintenance

We provide a grounds maintenance service on areas which are maintained by the Council.  You can view these areas on the maintained open space map.

Grass cutting

We aim to cut grass areas in parks, open spaces, housing estates and burial grounds every fortnight, weather permitting.

Grass verges outwith the 30 mph speed restriction roads are cut once per year and in amenity areas, more frequently.

In certain areas grass cutting is carried out at a reduced level, promoting a contrast between highly maintained areas and the development of biodiversity areas to promote the protection of flora and fauna. Some burial grounds that are no longer operational are maintained on an ad-hoc-basis.

Shrub beds

Shrub beds are pruned during over the winter period.  We prioritise those beds next to footpaths and on sight-lines.  Only in exceptional circumstances such as blocked footways or traffic visibility reasons will we prune during the growing season.

Hedges

Hedges will be cut outwith the birds nesting season. Hedges will be once a year.

Weed killing

We carry out routine treatment to eliminate weeds twice a year on some Council maintained land, including roads, pavements, kerbs and greenspaces such as parks and play areas.

It can take 2-3 weeks for the weeds to die but this process takes longer in cooler weather.

Use of Herbicides (Glyphosate)

Perth & Kinross Council's weedkilling and agricultural contractors use chemicals to treat and maintain roadside verges, greenspace areas, cemeteries etc. to prevent them from becoming overgrown.

The main chemical, or herbicide, is Glyphosate which is toxic to vegetation. Its use is the standard industry practice in both public and private amenity areas. 

Glyphosate is regulated by the UK Government which has granted consent for its continuing use, as have the European Commission and World Health Organisation in other countries and is under continued review for future licensing.

In the Perth and Kinross area, it is used by the Council in small quantities to control weeds in streets, hard surfaces, parks, open spaces and burial grounds.

The low volumes of glyphosate used by PKC reflect a conscious effort to continue to reduce and minimise the use of herbicides where possible while considering alternative approaches to landscape maintenance regarding weed control. 

Currently there are few, if any, alternative chemicals which have proven to be as effective in treating plants with consent being withdrawn for other similar weedkillers due to their potential harmful effects on the environment.

There are other weed control products available, and the industrial versions of these have been tested by PKC and other local authorities. Unfortunately, these have proved to be considerably less effective and more costly to re-treat due to the establishment of vigorous weed growth. 

All chemicals are applied by certified staff according to the manufacturer's safety data sheets and only where and when they are required, in accordance with DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) guidelines.

Senior Council Officers have considered this situation and has concluded the following position:

  • To continue to use glyphosate-based products in moderation by trained operatives in a fully risk assessed environment and as recommended by DEFRA
  • To identify sites where experimentation with ceasing glyphosate use could take place, possibly during 2022
  • Continue to monitor glyphosate situation and to review developments leading up to the end of 2022 when the current Government approval ceases
  • To constantly review the weedkiller market to determine whether any viable alternative to glyphosate becomes available
  • To encourage sufficiently motivated local groups to go 'Herbicide free' by controlling weed by hand in a valued local space

What you should know about invasive weeds

Giant Hogweed

  • Avoid contacting this weed as the sap can cause irritation to the skin.  The  hogweed briefing note (PDF) [205KB]  provides information about this weed and how to identify it.
  • Giant hogweed on Council land - Report this by phoning the Customer Service Centre on 01738 475000  or email enquiries@pkc.gov.uk
  • Giant hogweed on private land - Please contact the landowner direct as we are unable to take action on ground not owned by PKC.

PKC has no enforcement powers or responsibility to treat these harmful invasive weeds on private areas of land, the responsibility sits with the land owners. We will of course continue to deal with the issue within our areas of responsibility or ownership and this can be reported online through MyPKC or by calling 01738 475000

Legally, enforcement sits with the responsible bodies who are the Scottish Ministers (including Marine Scotland), Nature Scot, SEPA, and Forestry Commission Scotland - i.e. not local authorities so there is little we can do on land that's not ours.

The main contact is SEPA and we would encourage anyone with concerns to contact them as without unilateral action the problem will spread even further - Contact us | SEPA or call them on 03000996699.

Japanese Knotweed

  • This weed cannot be dug up because the smallest piece left in the ground will re-grow.
  • Knotweed stems and roots must be taken to an approved commercial tip for handling.  Unfortunately the Council does not provide disposal facilities for Knotweed.
  • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) provides guidance on controlling Japanese Knotweed.

Ragwort

  • Ragwort can be a real concern to horse owners.  We will not allow ragwort to spread from Council owned land.  However, when there is also a ragwort problem on land adjacent to Council owned land, we will ask the owners to deal with their ragwort at the same time.

Reports of all types of invasive Non-Native Species can be made via the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Last modified on 07 February 2023

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