Shenley Brook End & Tattenhoe Parish Council has taken on the responsibility from Milton Keynes Council for the majority of the landscaping within the parish.  This maintenance includes grass cutting, shrub beds maintenance, hedges, woodlands and local parks.

Your Environmental Team are determined to give you a high-quality standard of landscape maintenance and will be looking to continuously improve the parish with the help and support of you, the residents.

FAQs

When will the grass be cut?
Between the end of March and the end of October the grass will be cut approximately once every 2/3 weeks, although this may be varied subject to weather conditions and the length of the grass.

Can grass cuttings be removed?
Unfortunately, we cannot remove grass cuttings as the cost of collecting and transporting grass plus the specialist machinery needed would be both time consuming and expensive. Although all arising should be removed from footpaths by our Environmental Team.

Why are certain areas of verge grass and open space not cut while other areas are?
Locations where grass areas have been planted with bulbs e.g. Daffodils and Crocus will not be cut back until the leaves have started to die back, usually 6-8 weeks after flowering. This is good landscaping practice as it ensures bulbs will produce flowers the following year. Unfortunately these areas can become untidy in the interim.

Why are you cutting the grass when it’s wet?
Grass cutting is too large a scale operation to only proceed in optimum conditions, although it will be suspended in wet conditions when the likelihood of causing damage or operator safety outweighs the cutting priorities.

Why do you let the grass grow to different lengths in some areas?
This encourages the return of wild flora and fauna to our open spaces.  Also land use can help determine how long grass should be, for example more formal areas require shorter grass.

Ride-On Operation
SBEPC Estates are mown on a cyclic program between March and November.  The schedules are arranged to match the expected growing pattern of the grass and any specific management requirements for biodiversity, expected public use and highway safety.

Schedules can be delayed by public holidays and bad weather

Persistent rain can cause the ground to become too soft, leading to a risk of the ride-on mower becoming bogged, rutting and damaging the surface.  We are sometimes required to divert the crews away from their planned routes, or even suspend an operation entirely, recovering it later.  Mowing is also suspended during periods of prolonged dry weather.  The schedules can therefore be subject to sudden and radical alteration in response to environmental conditions.

See the link at the top of this page for this season’s grass-cutting schedule

Winter Shrub Maintenance

The Winter Shrub Maintenance Schedule shows the estates & dates, when the winter pruning will be undertaken within SBE-PC

This is subject to change for as some areas may take longer or be undertaken quicker than shown, and weather conditions such as snow may require the operation to be suspended.  Equally, very wet conditions may mean that there is no access for the machinery.

High winds and other extreme weather conditions may mean that the landscape resources are diverted to deal with emergencies such as clearing snowfall or removing broken branches and fallen trees.

Not all trees, shrubs and hedges require an annual prune.  Some operations, such as coppicing, where the planting is cut back for horticultural purposes (to allow the planting to regenerate and make new growth) may be many years apart.

When are hedges cut back? 
Hedges are cut back on an annual basis, although hedgerow maintenance is restricted by law. Therefore if a hedgerow is believed to be the home to nesting birds, we will be unable to carry out works until the birds have vacated. Usually this period is between the months of April – July.

I know the shrubs will grow again but what about my security/privacy?
Landscape plantings are designed and planted to soften the built environment rather than to act as a security or privacy barrier. Plants are living, ever-changing organisms and consequently do not have the static qualities, such as those of a fence, required for such a purpose.

Can you cut the shrubs back near my house as they collect dust and I believe they’re contributing to my asthma?
If anything the opposite will be true. Air quality is normally improved around trees, shrubs and grass. Leaves filter the air we breathe by removing dust and other particulates.

See the link at the top of this page for this season’s winter pruning schedule

Coppicing
Coppicing is the process of cutting back woody plants to approximately 100-150mm (4-6 inches) above ground level and allowing the stump or stool to re-grow. Most coppicing is carried out in the dormant season as the plants quickly re-grow when spring arrives.

Do Shenley Brook End undertake tree maintenance?
We will crown-lift tree branches above 2m on footways and 5m on highways. Under the terms of the contract agreement with MKC. Any other tree works and inspections will be carried out by Milton Keynes Council who have responsibility for all trees in SBE-PC.

Spraying/weed control
Herbicides are used mainly for weed control in planted beds. Where possible we will restrict the use of chemicals. However the cost of employing significant levels of staff to carry out the work manually would be cost prohibitive.

Further information

If you would like to check if an area is part of the Shenley Brook End Parish Council landscaping contract,

The council’s mapping system “My MK”  can show which land is maintained by SBE-PC and the Parks Trust or the Council.

Information on tree maintenance by Milton Keynes Council can be found here.
Email: envservices@milton-keynes.gov.uk        
MKC Environmental Services:  01908 252570

Clean Up Days

This year we have seen successful events in which residents, local schools and organisations, the Parish Council and Milton Keynes Council staff have jointly carried out ‘clean-up’ days promoting the ‘Pride in where you live’ theme. Two of these events have been featured in Community News and on videos which can be seen on YouTube.

If you think there is an area in your part of the Parish which could benefit from a ‘clean-up’ day let us know. Contact us today

Play Areas

Play areas are regularly checked for damaged equipment, dog fouling, litter and anti-social behaviour. All this is carefully logged and where they cannot deal with the issue, pass the information to other agencies for action, making sure that such reports are followed up and dealt with.

If you have a problem, comment or want to pass on information, they are there to help, so please make use of their services. You can email the Parish office on:-

reportit@shenleybrookend-pc.gov.uk

Clean Up After Your Pet

We are receiving a high number of complaints, regarding dog owners not picking up after their dog has fouled. Sadly, on the footpaths and grass verges. Dog fouling is not only deeply unpleasant but also dangerous. Whilst rare, contact with dog excrement can cause toxocariasis – a nasty infection that can lead to dizziness, nausea, asthma and even blindness or seizures.

It is also unpleasant for the Parish Environmental Team when their machines become contaminated with the waste and it exposes them to the risks above.

While most dog owners are caring, responsible individuals, there are still some people who do not clean up after their pets.

Anyone who fails to clear up after their dog can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100. If the case goes to court this could cost the owner or person in charge of the animal up to £1,000.

The law states that being unaware a dog has fouled or not having a suitable bag is not a reasonable excuse.

There are many areas within the Parish where this matter is a concern and is now under surveillance.

Please, let us be respectful to all.