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Cutting and clearance of vegetation

Cutting and clearance of vegetation

It is a duty of the highway authority to keep public rights of way free from obstruction by natural upgrowth [Highways Act 1980, Section 41].

Keeping side growth from encroaching on to a path is the responsibility of the landowner, although hedges may be trimmed back by ECC as part of the works associated with the seasonal cutting of paths.


When and where is it needed?

Vegetation cutting of the natural seasonal upgrowth on our PROW network is undertaken between April and October. We deliver this service through the following schemes:

Maintenance Teams have an established annual cutting programme, which allows for the most cost-effective programming of routine work. Visit our district maps below to see whether the paths near you are on our schedule.  These paths will be cut during June and July, if conditions permit.

Where cutting is requested on a path not contained in the programme an assessment will be made on site as to whether it should be added to future programmes or cut on an ad hoc basis. Please report this online from our Report a Problem page. 


Community Schemes to cut vegetation are managed by our PROW and Localism Officer.


  • Parish councils are able to enter into a service level agreement with us to maintain the vegetation on their priority routes. Parish councils make an application to us in December with a schedule of paths that they wish to take responsibility for cutting and we enable them through a grant.
  • Community groups volunteer through the Parish Paths Partnership scheme to clear seasonal upgrowth. Groups identify paths that need attention and organise a work party to clear the vegetation. The volunteers are supported by our PROW Inspectors. See our Volunteering page for more information.
  • Over 75 farmers and landowners also cut paths on their land or land within their control under the headland management scheme.

See which parishes are cutting under a service level agreement or who is volunteering under the Parish Paths Partnership scheme here.


To see where our maintenance teams are doing summer cutting in your area please see the interactive map below.

Please see the Documents section below for the winter cutting programme spreadsheet. 


Map Key


Winter Cutting Programme (15.44 KB)XLSX11/11/2020