Hedge End Town Council has a team of dedicated, full time groundstaff, maintenance personel and caretakers, maintaining the property and green spaces throughout Hedge End. The team are active each day in and around Hedge End making their daily site inspections and tackling maintenance and repair work where needed.
The groundstaff are often acting on calls from local residents who may report a fallen tree or overhanging branch thats obstructing pedestrian access, or perhaps a litter or graffiti problem. The team are quickly dispatched to investigate these incidents and to complete emergency work where necessary.
The team has responsibility for maintaining the community halls, cemetery, allotments, paddling pool, playgrounds, parks and open spaces as well as the bowling green, tennis courts, football and cricket pitches. Improvements and maintenance of fencing, hedgerows, verges and ditches are also completed by the team across the majority of the town.
Tackling a huge range of duties, the team must hold the relevant licences and attend regular training courses to ensure they are fully qualified and knowledgeable in operating heavy machinery and in the safe handling of chemicals.
Key Responsibilities Include:
- Ground Maintenance – Litter picking; Seasonal grass cutting; strimming; weed control; pest control; shrub and tree clearance and pruning; pitch - aeration, fertilizing, chain harrowing, repairs; flailing; fencing; tree coppicing; landscaping; planting; composting; pond clearing; path clearing; playground repairs; bus shelter maintenance; local event installation and set-up; Snow clearing and gritting in village centre and council car parks and property.
- Building Maintenance - Whilst our team of dedicated caretakers keep all of our community halls clean, serviceable and well stocked, any major repairs are undertaken by the groundstaff such as plumbing; guttering and roof repairs; tiling; boiler repairs; vandalism repairs and graffiti removal.
- Paddling Pool Maintenance – During the summer months considerable time is spent on the maintenance and repair of the paddling pool. Taking 3 hours to fill and 8 hours to drain, the team work hard to ensure the health and safety of all visitors to this popular site and daily issues do arise: filter replacements; broken glass; vandalism repairs; chemical safety checks; pump repairs; tank cleaning; water replacement and pool cleaning all have to be completed whilst we keep the site open to the public, which can sometimes be quite challenging.
Our groundstaff ensure that habitats for wildlife are monitored, protected and maintained at our many nature reserves, ponds and green spaces across the parish. The team has good local knowledge of the flora and fauna in and around Hedge End and they are sensitive to their environment, ensuring that litter is cleared regularly, but also that during dormant times they are careful not to disturb those creatures that might be in hibernation.
Whilst the majority of local plants will self-seed, the staff also actively encourage and support those natural to the environment through regular weed removal, pruning and the thinning and coppicing of trees and shrubs. This encourages new growth, thus supporting local ecosystems.
Recent native plant species introduced have included rose, willow and silver birch.
Wildlife versus ‘The Unwanted Visitor’
Regularly spotted by our groundstaff in and around Hedge End are deer, rabbit, mole, fox, water vole, field mouse, coot, newt, slow worm, grass snake, butterfly, water boatman, whirligig beetle and many more invertebrates, too many to mention. All living in small urban pockets of nature across the town.
However, certain visitors such as the rat are neither welcomed, nor encouraged. All groundstaff are fully trained in pest control to ensure our many sites are carefully monitored and that these unwanted visitors are dealt with quickly and humanely.