Preparations for Northumberland County Council's annual grass cutting programme are well underway, with a later start this year owing to wet weather.

Equipment maintenance is complete and the council has filled all 50 seasonal staff roles which will support the core workforce during the growing season.

Due to persistent wet weather, which has left the ground in multiple locations across the county saturated, the commencement of the programme will be slightly delayed.

This ground saturation makes it incredibly soft, raising the chance of surface damage by the council's ride on grass cutting machines, heftier than household lawnmowers.

As grass cutting commences later, the initial cut might leave the grass a bit taller than usual, leading to clippings resting in place until the next cutting cycles.

However, the teams will ensure any clippings on footpaths are blown back onto the grassed areas.

Council teams will evaluate all locations to determine their readiness for grass cutting.

As soon as conditions permit, the council's ride-on mowers will be deployed.

Councillor Colin Horncastle, cabinet member responsible for Looking After Our Environment, said: "We know how important it is to keep our green spaces looking neat and tidy, and we'll be starting our grass cutting season soon.

"However, some things are at the mercy of the weather and the ground is still saturated in some areas.

"We don't want to damage the grass or our machines, so it might take a bit longer to get started.

"We thank residents for their patience while we get round to cutting the grass in their areas."