The landscape of Fife is a major asset and as such is highly valued and requires to be maintained to the highest possible standards to enhance the overall visual impression of our green spaces. The areas maintained by the council have to be kept to a standard that reflects the priorities of our local communities and the resources available. Working positively with a range of partners we will endeavour to support a network of community activity that reflects the aspirations of Service providers and users.
The core services of the Grounds Maintenance Service include:
Grass is cut to an acceptable level of appearance at agreed programmed intervals between 10-14 days per cycle during the period April - October. It is expected that an acceptable level of grass clippings will be dispersed during the grass cutting operation. (This will be influenced by the weather conditions and type of ride on grass cutting machinery in operation). As much as is practically possible grass arisings will be removed from any hardstanding areas. Edges will be cut a maximum of 3 times throughout the season.
Obstacles within grass areas, where required, are programmed to be cut a maximum of three occasions during the period April - October. Spraying obstacles may be an alternative to cutting grass.
Areas planted with bulbs shall be allowed to flower and naturally die back prior to any cutting operations.
Where practical litter will be removed and disposed prior to the commencement of any grass cutting operations.
High amenity grass is cut more frequently, at intervals between 7-10 days per cycle during the period April - October. Edges and obstacles within high amenity grass areas are also cut with hand operated machinery a maximum of six occasions during the grass cutting season.
All grass arisings are removed immediately after cutting operations. Leaf removal is undertaken where heavy leaf fall is detrimental to grass condition.
Grassland meadow areas are left to develop naturally throughout the growing season April - September. A single cut and lift of all meadow areas is undertaken between September and October. Grass arisings where appropriate are removed from site and disposed. Any grass pathways are cut evenly and to an acceptable level of appearance at intervals between 10-14 days per cycle during the period April to October.
Grass bankings and rough-cut areas are cut twice per year with appropriate mechanical grass cutting machinery during the period June to February. Areas planted with bulbs are allowed to flower and naturally die back prior to any cutting operations. All grass arisings in these areas are left in situ.Back To Top
Fife Council does not provide a service for private garden care. Housing tenants may apply to join the Housing Services Garden Care Scheme, subject to eligibility criteria. Further information can be found on our Garden Care Scheme page.Back To Top
Hedges have new growth cut back to original size and shape of hedge line during the period July to November.
All arisings are removed from location and disposed of. Fast growing hedges including Privet and Hawthorn have a second hedge prune programmed during the season.Back To Top
Shrubs beds are kept tidy and free of weeds to an acceptable standard. Shrubs are pruned once annually by mechanical means during the period November to March. Weeds are maintained by the use of a herbicide regime and the use of mulch material. Shrub beds receive a single clean out of all detritus and litter during the period November to March. Litter is programmed to be removed on two additional occasions throughout the year.
Wherever possible shrubs are pruned in a way that encourages lateral growth. The removal of dead or dying shrubs is undertaken on one occasion per year during the period November to March.Back To Top
Rose beds are kept tidy and free of weeds to an acceptable standard. Roses are pruned once in Spring, in accordance with best horticultural practice. A second prune is undertaken between October and February. Weeds are removed by hand or by a herbicide regime. The use of a mulch is used as a weed suppressant wherever possible.Back To Top
Herbaceous beds shall be kept to an acceptable standard, throughout April - Oct.
Both hand weeding and mulch shall be used to supress the visual appearance of weed growth. All beds shall have seasonal growth removed on one occasion per year between October - December. Where required plants shall be lifted, separated and replanted to ensure good vegetative cover in the bed.Back To Top
Hardstanding areas (e.g. playgrounds, garage sites, footpaths, etc.) receive two herbicide applications per growing season between May - September, to kill visible weeds and manage weed/moss growth. Heavy weed/moss coverage may require removal by mechanical brushing or hand weeding prior to the application of herbicide control.
Invasive plant species such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan Balsam, and Giant Hogweed are managed as per Fife Council’s control strategies.Back To Top
Planting of formal flower beds is undertaken in accordance with accepted design proposals. Plants are planted with regular spacing and firmed into position. Beds are kept weed free by hand weeding a maximum of four occasions during June - October. Plants are planted as per the planting density specified within accepted design proposals.
All annual planting material is removed from beds at the end of each planting season. Grass edges are neatly maintained by mechanical or hand-held edging shears, with a maximum of six cuts during the period June - October. Additional feeding is applied in granular form prior to the planting of summer formal bedding.Back To Top
Grass arisings are not collected. It is expected that an acceptable level of grass clippings will be dispersed during the grass cutting operation. This will be influenced by the weather conditions and the type of ride-on grass cutting machinery in operation. Grass arisings generally are dispersed by the machinery used. There may be times when arisings fall from machinery or tyres particularly when grass areas are wet or damp. Every effort is made to remove grass arisings from any hardstanding areas as much as is practically possible. However, unfortunately, we do not have resources available to attend every path to remove grass arisings. We will make every effort to rectify this wherever possible.Back To Top
Yes, herbicides are currently used on land owned or managed by the Council. The Grounds Maintenance Service conforms with all legislation associated with the purchase, storage, and application of pesticides and herbicides.
The Service has developed an integrated weed-management regime that encompasses the following:
- more use of mulch in shrub beds
- more mechanical management of grass edges
- manual removal of weeds
- targeted herbicide application
We are very much aware of the concerns of some individuals to the impacts of glyphosate and other herbicides on our environment, and we are seeking alternative approaches to the issue of weed management. We acknowledge the need to change our approaches to meet the challenge around Climate change and increase Biodiversity. Fife Council is actively seeking the reduction of herbicide spraying wherever possible. However, we do have to recognise there is still a significant desire from communities to see the management of weeds on paths and other Council assets.Back To Top
The Grounds Maintenance Service is very much aware of our responsibilities around the challenges of Climate Change and how we need to respond. There is a resolve to review how we design and deliver services in a way that is sustainable and meet the expectations of the organisation and the communities we serve. As an example:
- The Grounds Maintenance Service has developed an approach to a create new grassland maintenance regime on 700,000 m2 of land to help reduce our carbon footprint and increase biodiversity. Further information can be found at Grasslands Consultation | Fife Council
- Developed an integrated weed management approach - including the need to reduce herbicide applications harmful to biodiversity and seek to review alternative approaches and products that provide effective management of weeds.
- Increased battery-operated equipment that removes the need for use of fossil fuels.
- Increased understanding of how the Service can work with partners to co-ordinate our resources, ways of working, and knowledge sharing to mitigate Climate Change impacts in our local Communities.