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Protect staff from weather induced hazards

Landscaping solutions to weather storms

In recent weeks we have experienced some dramatic weather conditions including sustained periods of sub-zero temperatures, prolonged heavy downpours, strong winds and snow fall.

Winter can be cruel to our exterior landscapes posing potential dangers for your staff and visitors.

It’s important therefore, to continually assess your carparks, paths, entrances, and landscapes to identify any hazards which could literally pop up overnight. You’ll want to contain and rectify any defects immediately to minimise the threat to health and safety.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the exterior landscaping problems the weather can throw at us.

Frost Heave

Mono blocks, slabs and any types of paving can all be susceptible to frost heave when temperatures fall below zero. This is particularly true when the sub-zero temperatures are prolonged as we have recently experienced. Water trapped below the surface freezes to form ice. As the water freezes is expands, displaces soil and pushes blocks upwards, resulting in uneven surfaces. Sometimes the soil will resettle when temperatures rise, but often the damage is permanent. Frost heave can also affect fence posts, pushing them out of the ground and leaving fences unstable. To avoid trips on uneven surfaces or fences collapsing the frost heave will need to be addressed and slabs and posts reinstated.

Soil Erosion

Although 2022 was announced by the Met Office as the warmest year on record for the UK, we have experienced significant downpours in the last few weeks. ‘Across Friday (30th December), Scotland’s environment protection agency had 10 regional flood alerts, 29 local flood warnings and a severe flood warning in place for Dumfries.’ (SEPA, 2023). Heavy rainfall can lead to soil erosion on your landscape. Not only can this be damaging to trees and plants due to loss of essential nutrients and root damage, soil can also be washed onto roads and pathways causing obstructions and slip and trip hazards. You’ll want to make sure any landslides are cleared as soon as possible, and retention put in place to avoid future soil movement.

Blocked Drains

If drains are blocked, a deluge of rain can quickly cause flooding on your exterior grounds. Large accumulations of lying water can hide potholes and obstructions which could potentially damage cars. And if temperatures dip flood waters will freeze forming slip hazards for both vehicles and pedestrians.

Potholes

The pesky pothole. As debris gathers on road surfaces, as cars track over the rubble parts of the surface will inevitably become worn. Dealing with potholes in the early stages will head off at the pass any future problems leading to claims for car damages. It’s also less costly to fix a small hole compared to a giant chasm.

Fallen Trees

High winds often feature in our winter weather and can lead to fallen trees or dangerous branches hanging precariously from trees. Our team at GP Plantscape can handle emergency situations where a threat is posed to the safety of you staff and visitors on site.

If you require any further information on our exterior landscaping services, give us a call today on 0808 100 3120.

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Kevin Stewart, Facilities Manager , Registers of Scotland
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Caroline Hammond, Office Manager , LSPIM
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Gordon Anthony, General Manager , Park Hotel
“Incorporating biophilia in a recent hybrid pilot workspace for a client in Glasgow was such an important part of the jigsaw. The project included large trees, standing planters in various designs, shelf planters and two bespoke moss walls. The exterior courtyard also underwent a transformation including power washing the paving, sanding and painting of the exterior furniture, new gravel, a new Astro turf putting green and various planters with lovely biophilia displays. The feedback has been fantastic and people have been raving about it from a senior level. A big thanks to all the team at GP who were a great support and pulled out all the stops to ensure completion on time.”
Susan Houston, Sales Support Manager , Apleona
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Nikki Thng, CEO & Founder , Class for Kids
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Mette Møller, Urban Designer , HarrisonStevens
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