Urban Verge Cutting 2023

Lewes Town Council is responsible for cutting some of the verges in Lewes, a responsibility shared with East Sussex Highways.

Who cuts the verges?

In previous years, verge cutting in Lewes has been managed by East Sussex Highways. At the meeting of Lewes Town Council in December 2022, the council decided to take responsibility for ‘meadow’ and ‘wildlife’ verges in-house, meaning that verge cutting responsibility is now shared between the two authorities.

What will be cut?

Verges designated as ‘wildlife’ or ‘meadow’ verges (largely in the Wallands, Malling and Brighton Road areas) will be cut by the town council’s contractor once a year, in the autumn. Additional visibility cuts will be undertaken as required in locations where there is a safety risk.

Other ‘urban’ verges will still be cut by East Sussex Highways, twice a year.

‘Rural’ verges (in areas where the speed limit is greater than 30mph) are part of East Sussex Highways reduced cut trial scheme – meaning they will receive one cut in the Autumn (with additional visibility cuts as required). This is in-line with the ‘wildlife’ and ‘meadow’ verges.

How do I know which verges are which?

You can download maps of the ‘wildlife’ and ‘meadow’ verges that Lewes Town Council are responsible for here:

Verge Cutting Maps 2023

Why isn’t the grass cut more often?

Cutting ‘wildlife’ and ‘meadow’ verges once a year will allow the verges to act as wildlife corridors, with flowering plants allowed to complete their lifecycles and return to seed. This will provide biodiversity benefits and essential habits for pollinators.

Why is Lewes Town Council now responsible for Wildlife and Meadow verges?

The town council decided to take responsibility for these areas of verges to have greater control over how they’re managed. As well as being cut once a year to support pollinators and increase biodiversity, in-line with town council policy the contractors appointed to undertake the cutting will not use leaf-blowers to clear grass cuttings and debris from footpaths and roads.

Instead, this work will be undertaken with rakes and brooms, which will be better for the environment. Leaf blowers generate toxic air pollution whilst being noisy, using fossil fuels and unnecessarily disturbing insects and other wildlife.

What if a verge is obstructing a view at a junction or creating a safety hazard?

Regardless of the type of verge, visibility cuts will be undertaken to ensure safety and that sightlines are maintained. If you are aware of an issue, you can report it online via the East Sussex Highways ‘Report a Problem’ tool: https://www.eastsussexhighways.com/report-a-problem

Can I cut the grass outside my house?

Areas of ‘wildlife’ and ‘meadow’ verge are being allowed to grow to create pollinator corridors and improve biodiversity in the town. If you have a verge outside your house that is in this category, there’s no need to cut it – in fact, by leaving it wild, you’ll be helping the environment and benefitting insects, pollinators and other wildlife.