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Grounds Maintenance

Contents

Introduction

As of 1st April 2024, CBH’s Schedule of Grounds Maintenance will include the following:

Grass Cutting

For all general needs sites (communal gardens, open spaces, and housing verges) grass will be cut 10 times a year (around every 3-4 weeks) from the end of March to the beginning of November. Grass cuttings are not collected but will be blown or swept off paths.

For all sheltered schemes grass will be cut 24 times a year (every 10 working days) from the end of March to the beginning of November. Grass cuttings will be collected and removed.

The frequency of cuts will be dependent on the weather.

Edging of Hard Surfaces

For all sites grass will be cut back from footpaths and other hard surfaces once a year during the winter. All grass cuttings resulting from this work will be removed.

Hedge Cutting

For all general needs sites formal hedges will be cut twice a year; once in June/July and once in November.

For all sheltered schemes formal hedges will be cut three times a year; once in May, once in June/July and once in November.

In both cases all hedge cuttings will be removed.

Border Maintenance

For all general needs sites and sheltered schemes, border maintenance will be carried out 7 times between April and October (around once a month) and once over the winter.

Border Maintenance will include:

Clearance of leaves and debris

During every visit all leaves and shrub & tree debris will be removed from the border.

Weeding

During every visit all weeds over 100mm (4 inches) in height will be removed by hand/hand tools.

In addition, weeds will be spot treated with a non-Glyphosate based herbicide once in Spring and once in late Summer. All dead vegetation resulting from the spot treatment will be removed during the next visit.

The border maintenance teams will also be responsible for removing weeds growing in drying areas, paths, patios, or other areas of hardstanding within the boundary of blocks of flats and sheltered schemes (see Maintenance of Hard Surfaces below).

Shrub Pruning

During every visit shrubs will be pruned to remove dead and diseased wood and to maintain a balanced shape.

In addition, any shoots that are obstructing footpaths, parking spaces, drying areas, gas vents, windows, fire exits, doorways, drains etc. will be cut back.

Deadheading

During every visit any dead flowers, stems or leaves from herbaceous plants will be removed.

Grass edging of borders

During every visit the grass edges of the beds or borders will be trimmed back to the edge with long-handled shears. The grass clippings will be removed.

Removal of self-set trees

During the winter visit any self-set trees or tree suckers growing in borders will be removed.

Pruning back of Ivy and other climbing plants

During the winter visit any Ivy, or other climbing plants growing in borders will be cut back to around the height of any adjacent shrubs.

Maintenance of Hard Surfaces

This includes car parks, garage blocks, estate paths and any other area of hardstanding not attached to a bock of flats or sheltered scheme.

For all sites hard surfaces will be maintained 4 times between April and October (around every 8-9 weeks) and once over the winter.

Colchester Borough Homes no longer specifies the use of Glyphosate-based herbicides to control weeds growing in hard surfaces. Instead, maintenance of hard surfaces will include the removal or cutting back of weeds and any woody plants such as Brambles, growing within the hard surface. Wherever possible all parts of the weed will be removed.

Cutting back of any vegetation growing from adjacent properties/land is not included.

On completion of the work hard surfaces will be swept and all arisings and litter removed.

Leaf Clearance

In addition to the work carried out as part of border maintenance, leaves will be collected and cleared from all borders and hard surfaces between November and January. General needs sites will receive one visit and sheltered schemes will receive two visits.

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