Leaf it out!

Leaf it out! Clear your drain to help prevent floods.

Our ‘leaf it out’ campaign encourages members of the public to help keep their local drains clear during the autumn and winter months when fallen leaves are likely to cause blockages, and potentially localised flooding.

Across the county we have nearly 130,000 gullies and kerb weirs, so it makes a big difference and helps us to ensure they’re fully working for when it rains heavily, and means that highways staff are free to prioritise the most urgent flooding issues. 

This is where you can come in

To help reduce the risk of flooding in your area, you can clear the drain(s) directly outside your house, if they're accessible from the pavement. Ideally, do it on the day you put your garden waste bin out for collection so you can put what your clear straight into it. To find out when your local garden waste collection service is, visit your local council's website. Please only clear a drain or gully if it’s safe to do so – stay safely on the pavement or verge and use a broom, long stick, fork or spade, or similar. Do not use your foot – we don’t want anyone getting stuck! If its not safe to clear the drain yourself or if it looks like its going to be a big job, tell us and we’ll take care of it, as quickly as possible. If you think there is an immediate danger to public safety, always call our emergency number 08000 514 514.

If you can, please share a before and after photo on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #LeafItOutGlos to encourage community action against flooding. 

Drain covered in leavesSafety first

Please ensure you have read our risk assessment before taking part.

  • Work in daylight hours
  • Outside of peak time (avoid rush hour)
  • Only go out if visibility is good
  • Wear high vis if possible or something bright
  •  Only clear drains if you can access them from a pavement, without straying far from your driveway/house 
  • Avoid raking leaves uphill or into the roads as they will only wash back into the drain
  • Stay on the pavement

Pile of autumn leavesHow to make a leaf pile or leaf mold

When you have removed leaves from your local drain, you might wonder what to do with them.

We would either recommend putting them into your garden waste bin, or creating a leaf pile in your garden. Leaf piles are amazing for wildlife, providing shelter and a great nesting spot for hibernating animals, such as hedgehogs, small mammals, frogs and countless insects. Birds will also peck through leaf piles looking for a tasty meal of worms and grubs. When leaf piles are left undisturbed beyond winter, they tend to be inhabited by insects, such as beetles and woodlice, who feed on the decaying matter.

If you want to get even more creative with your fallen leaves, turn them into leaf mold. Leaf mold is simply made from decaying leaves; the soil mixes with fungi which helps slowly break down the leaves and aid absorption of important nutrients.

Find out how to make leaf mould on the People's Trust for Endangered Species website

If you do not have a garden, or garden waste bin, you could collect the leaves up and take them to your local household recycling centre or compost them. 

Keeping up to date

Sign Up to our ‘Leaf It Out’ newsletter! You'll be part of the 'leaf it out community' and receive information, tips, advice and campaign updates. Remember to use the hashtag #LeafItOutGlos on social media if you get involved so that we can see and share your wonderful efforts, which will help us to prevent flooding in your community. 

You can keep up to date with any road closures or Highways issues by following GlosRoads on Twitter and Facebook, just search for the handle: @GlosRoads.

The Environment Agency offers a range of alerts and advice in advance of and during flooding.

Be prepared and know what to do in the event of a flood by familiarising yourself with our flood guide.

Help us improve Highways

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