Street care & cleaning

Here you will find information about street care and cleaning in Northumberland.

The latest information about maintenance work carried out by the council and how this is operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This information was last updated on 11 March 2022.

We will continue delivering our street cleansing and winter grounds maintenance program to keep our country clean, green and safe. 
Remember - To keep everyone safe please keep social distancing with our teams - so please keep away from our teams if you see them working - and we'll do likewise.
The council's Neighbourhood Environmental Action Teams (NEAT) are responsible for keeping public roads and pavements in Northumberland clear of litter, leaves, grit and debris..

 There is a regular programme of cleansing of the highways, pavements and other council-owned areas, working to a priority system. Residents are invited to contact the council to report issues of heavy littering, dumping or spillages. 

Graffiti Fly Poster Removal Policy Document November 2010.doc 

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 NCC public open spaces 

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The council provides a number of services to create a pleasant environment for residents and visitors.

Neighbourhood services, in partnership with some town and parish councils, provide horticultural features in our town centres, parks and gardens. A programme of shrub pruning and maintenance is undertaken on a three-yearly cycle. 
Weed killing is performed from April to October each year. The chemical herbicide used is based on Glyphosate, which has been subject to extensive testing and regulatory assessment in the EU, USA and by the World Health Organisation. 
The council only uses products approved and licensed for amenity use.  These products are considered to be relatively non-toxic to dogs and other domestic animals.  However, if you are concerned about the welfare of your pet then contact your veterinarian
The council’s grass-cutting operations commence from the beginning of April until the end of September, depending on conditions. The grass is cut around once every 14 days during this period. 
The council cuts grass in some housing estates, parks, schools, highway verges and open spaces throughout the county, as well as in out-of-town amenities and country lanes. 
Additional cuts may be requested by town and parish councils and housing companies in October and March. If a member of the public is particularly concerned about grass on footpaths, they can report the problem below or ring customer services on 0345 600 6400. 
Report an issue with grass cutting online 
We do not collect grass cuttings, except on plots within elderly people’s residential developments. 
Discover the list of public toilets maintained by Northumberland County Council, including those with disabled access and baby changing facilities; learn about the RADAR National Key Scheme that allows disabled individuals to access locked toilets across the UK, and explore the Changing Places facilities in Northumberland that cater to all access needs.


This information was last updated on 5 Sept 2023 - toilets not detailed on the map or lists above, are currently closed.

The Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (R.A.D.A.R), alongside disability organisations, local authorities and others, established a national key scheme (NKS) for toilets for disabled people in 1981. 
The principle is if a local authority locks public toilets for disabled people, it can use a standard lock and make arrangements for disabled people to obtain a key. 
Having a RADAR key allows disabled people to open locked accessible toilets all over the UK. 
Disabled toilets are commonplace and certain premises (including restaurants) are required to have them by law, but often they are kept locked to ensure they can only be used by people who need them. This can become a problem if a member of staff is not on hand with the key when you need it. 

How to get a RADAR key 

The RADAR National Key Scheme (NKS) was designed to address this problem. You can order a RADAR key from a number of organisations and retailers, including the Disability Rights UK website and the Blue Badge Company
There will be a small charge for purchasing a key, which should include the cost of delivery. If you are registered as disabled, you should be able to buy one VAT-free. 


Changing Places Toilets

Changing Places Toilets enable everyone, regardless of their access needs, disability, reliance on the assistance of carers or specialist equipment, can use a toilet facility with dignity and hygienically.

Northumberland County Council Changing places facilities can be found at the following locations:

  • County Hall, Morpeth. NE61 2EF
  • Berwick Leisure Centre. TD15 2AS
  • Ashington Leisure Centre. NE63 9JY
  • Holy Island, Green Lane Car Park. TD15 2SQ
  • Seahouses, Seafield Road. NE68 7SN
  • Newbiggin Sports and Community Hub, Woodhorn Road, NE64 6HG
  • Cramlington Community Hub, NE23 6YB 

Some example photos of facilities can be seen below.

Find out more on their website here.

Holy Island - Green Lane Car Park 
Town & Parish Council, Holy Island, Postcode TD15 2SQ. Latitude - 55.672201 Longitude -1.7995809. UPRN,100110809069. 
RADAR key access open all year 24 /7 
Find out more information about this changing places toilet here
The outside of the building where the toilet is located. 
The entery way to the toilets. 
The door to the accessible toilet area 
The inside of the accessabile toilet area. A toilet with handles, rise and fall sink unit, adjustable bench, and a hoist. 
Different angle of the inside of the accessabile toilet area. A toilet with handles, adjustable bench, and a hoist. 

Information about Seahouses changing places toilets 

Seahouses - Main Car Park 
Town & Parish Council, North Sunderland, Old Station Yard, Public Convenience, Street, Seafield Road, Postcode, NE68 7SN. Latitude - 55.582016 Longitude -1.6540077. UPRN, 100110809173. 
RADAR access 
Open Times - 
Winter 7:30am to 7pm 
Summer 7:30am to 8pm 
Outside doors to the toliets at Seahouses 
Toilet in the accessible toilet area. It has handles for ease of use. 
A rise and fall sink unit 
A table with adjustable height. A hoist suspended from the ceiling

Northumberland County Council has a legal duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to act as the litter authority for Northumberland.

This responsibility includes: 


  • street cleaning 

  • litter collection 

  • removal of detritus 

  • fly-posting 

  • graffiti 

  • fly-tipping on public land maintained by the council 


The cleansing programme is based on requirements set out in the code of practice on litter and refuse 2006, including types of land, zoning, response times and responsibilities of authorities. 
Accurate and systematic monitoring of street cleanliness is constantly carried out to identify when and where litter problems are likely to occur, putting procedures in place to maintain standards. 
Maximum effort for street sweeping is concentrated in the town centres, where there is the highest volume of people working and shopping. More outlying areas require less effort to keep them clean. 
Experience has highlighted ‘hot spots’ throughout the area which need extra. In addition to the street sweeper, the council uses street vacuum cleaners and a range of mechanical sweepers, large and small. 




The council is responsible for removing litter and detritus from all ‘A’ roads within Northumberland, including the sections of the A1 and A19. 
The Highways Agency’s contractor A-one+ cuts the grass, repairs fences and fills potholes on the A1 and A19. Northumberland County Council are responsible for removing litter from the verges and central reservations. 
Northumberland County Council endeavours to remove litter and detritus from ‘hot spot’ areas on major roads in Northumberland at least once a year. However, the division of responsibility presents a number of difficulties. 
If there is no pavement or safe access, permission has to be obtained from the Highways Agency to carry out lane closures. To avoid congestion and achieve journey time reliability targets, the agency often requires closures to take place at night. 
To deal with the challenges of safe working on high speed roads at night, we work in partnership with A-one+, the Highways Agency contractor, to carry out staff inductions, allowing our cleansing teams to take advantage of scheduled traffic management and lane closures already arranged by A-one+. 

  • To report a litter ‘hot spot’ on the A1 or A19 or any other major road within Northumberland, call 0345 600 6400 or report online

The graded standards shown below are used to monitor the cleanliness of areas. 
For litter and refuse  



No litter or refuse 

Mostly free of litter and refuse apart from some small items 

Widespread distribution of litter and/or refuse with minor accumulations 

Heavily affected by litter and/or refuse with significant accumulations 

For detritus (mud, soil, grit etc.): 



No detritus 

Predominantly free of detritus, except for light scattering 

Widespread distribution of detritus with minor accumulations 

Heavily affected by detritus with significant accumulations 

Find out about reporting overflowing bins, litter picking and collections, and more.

Please don't drop litter. Use a litter bin or, if there isn't one handy, take your litter home and put it in your waste bin if you can't recycle it.

If you see a damaged or overflowing bin, report it to us using the online form below. You can also use this form to request a new public litter bin. Please note this form is to be used to contact us about public litter bins e.g. in parks, on lampposts or on pavements. 

dog fouling into bins within children's play areas. 
Dog owners have a responsibility to pick up after their pets and should place bagged dog fouling in a litter bin/dog waste bin or take bagged dog waste home with them. 

Councils appoint officers to issue fixed penalty notices to people dropping litter. An offender has 14 days to pay the fixed penalty of £80 or £65 if paid within 7 days. Failure to pay the fine will result in the case being taken to court and a potentially a maximum fine of £2,500. 
Click here for the Environmental Enforcement Fixed Penalty Notice Policy 2017 

Thoughtless drivers and their passengers tossing litter from cars are costing the taxpayer millions each year in clean-up costs. 
Throwing litter from moving vehicles is dangerous for other drivers and creates a mess and a hazard on our roadside verges. 

There are a number of areas in Northumberland affected by heavy leaf fall in the autumn. 
These areas receive extra attention to ensure they are regularly swept of leaves, avoiding slippery and dangerous surfaces for pedestrians. 
A list of the roads and public areas identified as a ‘leaf hotspot’ is kept in each depot and the areas receive extra attention throughout the autumn months. 

Here you will find information on getting involved with community litter picks.

Northumberland’s face is its fortune. The cleanliness of the county is an important part of the quality of life of residents and in encouraging visitors. 
Rubbish is the first thing we want to tackle. You can help by organising a litter pick in your area. 

Below sets out what you need to know to begin improving your county. 

Click here for more information and guidance on litter picking from Keep Britain Tidy.

1. Choose an area you want to clean up. If its public land maintained by Northumberland County Council, email and let us know the area you intend to litter pick. If it’s privately owned land, get permission from the landowner(s). 
2. Decide when you want to do it. 
3. Tell your friends, family and neighbours you need their help. 
4. Northumberland County Council will provide litter pick packs for up to 20 people. These include: 
  • litter pickers 
  • rubbish sacks 
  • high-visibility waistcoats 
  • gloves 

5. Complete a risk assessment. This simple procedure ensures you have considered any safety issues and taken necessary precautions to try and prevent them. 
6. Prepare yourself and your helpers for the day: 
  • Decide where you will meet and at what time. 
  • Think about how to split the group up to cover the area. 
  • Decide how long you will litter pick and when you will take breaks. 
  • Think about refreshments and what toilet facilities are available. 
  • Think about first aid, safety and hygiene. Is there a first aider in the group? Do you have a supply of antibacterial wipes or hand gel? Take some plasters and antiseptic for any cuts or grazes. 

7. Go through an activity planning checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

1. Brief the group on: 

  • Health and safety. Check everyone has read the safety checklist, knows how to use the equipment and what to avoid. 
  • Meeting points, break and finish times. 
  • Where to place the collected rubbish. 
  • Who the first aider is and/or what to do if an injury occurs. 


Litter pick safety checklist 

  • Use gloves and always avoid direct contact with litter. 
  • Use a litter picking tool where possible for any glass and metal items. 
  • Any needles or sharp objects should be dealt with by a fully trained member of the council’s Neighbourhood Environmental Action Team. Do not pick up any suspect items, particularly those listed as hazards. Note their location and report them to the council immediately following the litter pick. 
  • Clean hands thoroughly before eating food or drinking. 
  • Rubbish should not be compressed using hands or feet, as this can accidentally puncture the skin. 
  • Avoid contact with the body when carrying plastic bin bags. 
  • Ensure any cuts or abrasions are clean and covered with a waterproof plaster. 
  • Wear stout shoes and waterproof clothing. 
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects or sacks alone – ask for assistance if required. 
  • Be aware of your environment and do not put yourself at risk while picking litter.  

2. Check everyone is wearing or has appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather and terrain. 
3. Ensure there is sufficient supervision for young/vulnerable volunteers. 
4. Ask the group to be considerate to wildlife and people using the area 
5. Exchange mobile phone numbers to ensure good communication links between the group. 

The council has procedures for removing dead animals from highways.

The council removes dead animals from public highways and open spaces, including the beach. We will collect anything larger than a cat. 
We do not remove rabbits or small wild animals unless they are on a residential street and are causing offence or distress. 
Further information can be obtained by contacting customer services on 0345 600 6400. 
Northumberland County Council community toilet scheme.

Great community spirit in spending a penny 

Use our loo! logo. Text says You're welcome to use our toilet facilities. 

Some fantastic businesses are doing their bit to welcome visitors to Northumberland by joining the council's 'You're welcome to use our loos' campaign. 
It's a wonderful voluntary scheme where traders pledge to open their toilets to the public, making it convenient for visitors and locals to spend more time in our towns and villages. 
The businesses receive the sticker, pictured left, to place prominently in public view, in so doing inviting people to use their facilities without the necessity of purchasing anything. 
It helps promote Northumberland as a welcoming, friendly and accessible place and makes it likely visitors will stay longer and return more often - boosting the county's economy. 


What do businesses get out of it? 

  • Free advertising from the county council. 
  • A 'you're welcome' sticker enabling the public to identify participating businesses. 
  • Likely increase in footfall. 
  • The potential for more customer sales. 
  • A sense of community spirit. 

Any businesses interested in joining the voluntary scheme can seek further information by contacting Northumberland County Council on 0345 600 6400 or by email to