Roadside mowing work
Roadside mowing starts in June once the vegetation is growing rapidly. The mowing work helps prevent road accidents, supports biodiversity and controls invasive alien species.
Mowing improves visibility
In June, once the roadside vegetation has started to grow rapidly, the mowing begins. Mowing helps to prevent traffic accidents: the burgeoning vegetation along the roads weakens visibility for both road users and also animals moving around within the vegetation. Good visibility, on the other hand, gives road users time to respond to unexpected situations and thus improves traffic safety.
Mowing keeps the road environment clear and tidy. It also reduces the growth of scrub, prevents the long grass from encroaching into the carriageway and promotes the good functioning of roadside ditches. The mowing work is carried out according to the green care category set for each road section. The categorising process takes into account the network status of the road, the land use and the surrounding environment.
The mowing work carried out around schools sometimes generates some discussion. The guidelines of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency specify that the areas close to schools must be mown once before the school term begin. Roadsides are usually mown between mid-June and the end of August.
Replacement habitats for endangered plants
Roadside mowing supports the preservation of biodiversity. A large number of animals die each year in traffic, and traffic emissions and noise weaken the living conditions for all organisms. Mowing work seeks to reduce these adverse effects.
Over time, regular mowing has created a significant number of replacement habitats for meadow and field species and even endangered species, such as plant and butterfly species that thrive in dry and sunny habitats. The replacement sites for these species resemble traditional biotopes, and mowing supports the preservation of these environments.
The sides of busy roads are mown twice each summer, and the staggering of the mowing times helps the plant species to replenish. The first mowing is always done over a narrower area, allowing road users to enjoy the flowers for longer. The second mowing is done over a wider area later on in the summer.
For reasons of road safety and cost, mowing cannot be delayed indefinitely: shorter intervals between mowing would require a significant increase in mowing equipment, which would increase costs. The slopes of less busy roads are mown only once in the summer, at some point in July or August, and to a width of two metres.
Mowing prevents invasive alien species
In summer 2019, a government decree entered into force which obliges the authorities to combat invasive alien species such as ramanas rose and garden lupine. Flowering lupines are not spared when mowing, as it is important to prevent their seeds from spreading to new locations. The dangerous giant hogweed plants are disposed of separately when they are observed.
Invasive alien species on the roadside must not be destroyed without permission. Those intending to destroy them can contact the Transport Customer Service for more information on the conditions that apply.