FAQ Estate Management Grounds Maintenance
These frequently asked questions explain more about the grounds maintenance services that we offer. Sheltered housing schemes have an enhanced maintenance programme.
The following service providers deliver the grounds maintenance service within the following housing areas:
- Glendale Services: Perry Barr, Sutton and Erdington
- Birmingham Parks & Nurseries: Northfield, Edgbaston and the City Centre, plus strategic parks
- Quadron Services: Hall Green, Selly Oak, Yardley, Ladywood and Hodge Hill.
The core grass service operates between April and October each year, a maximum of 12 times. This includes a 2 week frequency at peak grass growth times i.e May and June and then 3 week frequency at other times. During the late winter, the edges between grassed areas and hard areas will be trimmed.
The enhanced service that is provided to sheltered housing schemes includes a maximum of 21 cuts (each year). As with the core standard, the edges between grassed areas and hard areas will be trimmed in the winter.
There are millions of square metres of frequently maintained lawns throughout Birmingham. The equipment required for the collection and removal of grass cuttings would more than treble the costs of this service.
The service provider is required to sweep or blow any cuttings that get transferred to footpaths back onto the mown lawn at the time of cutting. Litter is removed from lawns before mowing so that it is not cut up and spread by mowing machines.
Hedges are cut up to three times a year, depending on the species, to remove the previous year’s growth. Hedge cutting is carried out following the end of the main bird nesting season in July.
Most hedges are maintained to a maximum height of two metres
Shrub areas are pruned once in winter (October – March) and once again in summer (April – September). The method of pruning will ensure that the overall appearance of the shrub bed is retained, and that all deadwood and diseased material is removed. Weeds, litter and debris are also removed at the time of pruning. Missing shrubs will be replaced and the beds will be mulched or cultivated.
The enhanced service that is provided to sheltered housing schemes includes an additional four visits in summer.
The removal of any litter and debris during the rest of the year remains the responsibility of the respective landowner, e.g. Highways for verges and central reservations, Homes and Neighbourhoods for housing scheme areas.
The control of weeds within maintained areas (shrub beds, drying areas and paths) and other areas such as grass verges and within parks is carried out by our grounds maintenance service providers using environmentally friendly, but effective, herbicides. The herbicides break down into harmless substances when they come in contact with soil.
Japanese Knotweed is such an invasive and damaging plant that it is controlled by law. There is further information on www.birmingham.gov.uk/knotweed-report, and if there is a problem with Japanese Knotweed on land owned by Birmingham City Council, you can notify us using the online report form
The play areas are inspected at least three times a week by our service providers in the summer and once a week in the winter. These visits involve:
- A visual inspection of equipment – any problems are reports to the Parks Playground Services who can repair or replace damaged equipment.
- The surfaces being swept – debris is removed or raked away.
- Removal of graffiti (unless the paint used requires additional cleaning resources).
The playground services engineers also carry out a monthly to quarterly inspection subject to risk to check the workings and safety of the equipment.
Regrettably, some of our children’s play facilities are subject to frequent vandalism, including fire damage. Due to the high cost of play equipment and our limited finances, in some cases we may only be able to make vandalised areas safe, and will not be able to replace equipment immediately.
The Parks Service arranges for the football and rugby pitches to be remarked weekly throughout the winter. It also allows for additional maintenance such as overseeding and pitch spiking during the optimum periods. Posts are usually removed and repainted at the end of the season,
During the summer months a high maintenance programme exists for cricket and bowls pitches around the Birmingham parks.
Birmingham City Council’s Parks division is responsible for all council owned non highway tree stock, including those on Homes and Neighbourhoods amenity land.
The following service providers deliver the tree maintenance service for Birmingham City Council:
- Gristwood and Toms for the south of Birmingham
- Blythe Valley for the north of Birmingham.
You should contact your local housing team so that they can provide some advice and undertake an initial inspection. Contact details for local housing teams are as follows:
- Erdington, Perry Barr and Sutton Coldfield: 0121 303 7048
- Ladywood: 0121303 0419
- Hodge Hill: 0121 303 7250
- Yardley: 0121 303 5054
- Hall Green and Selly Oak: 0121 303 8905
- Northfield: 0121 464 7297
- Edgbaston: 0121 303 9724
There are lots of ways for tenants to get involved in how our services are delivered. Some examples include:
- Conducting estate walkabouts/assessments.
- Joining local residents groups.
- Attending local events and open days.
We are always looking for tenants to share their views with us. If you want to find out more, visit: www.birmingham.gov.uk/getinvolved or telephone your local housing team (see above).