Hover or ride-on, petrol or electric, all lawnmowers are notoriously noisy. If you live in a built-up area, hearing the hum of a mower is a pretty common incidence but is there a legal time to mow the lawn and a time when it’s a definite no-no?
We’ve all experienced the neighbour who decides to power up their lawnmower just as you’re trying to get the kids to sleep or the keen gardener who’s out there at sunrise. Read on to find out the acceptable times to mow the lawn and whether or not it’s actually illegal to mow at certain times.
How loud is a lawnmower?
The average electric lawnmower will produce around 70 decibels of sound, whilst a petrol lawnmower hovers around the 85dB mark. Increasingly popular robot mowers are quieter, at about 55dB whilst cordless and manual models make the least noise.
When it comes to how much sound a lawnmower emits, size generally matters, with the larger machines being the noisiest, especially the ride-on mowers.
To put it into perspective, human conversation is about 60dB. Once sound starts to reach levels of 85dB and over, it can damage your hearing if you’re exposed to it for prolonged periods of time.
Whatever type of lawnmower you have, it’s likely to be quite audible, especially to your neighbours.
Did you know? Decibels are named after Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the old-fashioned telephone.
Is it illegal to mow the lawn at certain times?
Although there is no set law in the UK regarding lawnmowing times, councils can investigate and issue warning notices about noises that are above permitted levels between 11 pm and 7 am.
The permitted noise level is 34dB if the underlying level is no more than 24dB, and 10dB above the underlying level of noise if it’s more than 24dB.
Using a lawnmower after these times could be constituted as a disturbance and may result in a fine, or ultimately, a prosecution.
What time can I cut my grass?
Of course, most people wouldn’t dream of mowing the lawn between 11 pm and 7 am, besides it being the time when most are asleep, it would be too dark to see anything.
The time you choose to mow your lawn depends on where you live, the size of your lawn and how much noise your mower makes. Most people have set times when they can mow their lawns, usually after work or at the weekend, and it’s made much trickier if you work night shifts.
It pays to be considerate. If you live in a secluded, rural area then you won’t have to worry too much about being overheard, but if you’re in a densely populated, urban area, mowing between the hours of 9-6 (and later at weekends) is probably best if you can.
Alternatively, you could set the lawnmower aside for a few weeks, cutting monthly instead of weekly. This will allow nectar-bearing flowers to thrive and hugely increase the number of bees and other pollen-collecting insects that visit your garden. You could mow a path through your garden to allow easy access to other areas if you don’t fancy a completely wild meadow.
Is it illegal to mow your lawn early in the morning?
No, it isn’t against the law, but it would be considered anti-social to cut the grass before 7 am.
Can I cut grass on Sunday in the UK?
Yes, you can cut the grass on Sunday but it pays to be considerate and avoid mowing before 10 am.
Is it illegal to mow your lawn at night?
Mowing the lawn at night isn’t illegal, but it would create noise above permitted sound levels and could result in a fine.
What should I do if I have a particularly loud lawnmower?
If your lawnmower seems excessively noisy, it may need a bit of TLC. When the lawnmower is unplugged, check to see that the blades aren’t loose, that there isn’t a build-up of grass under the machine and that, if you have a petrol mower, you’ve changed the oil as needed.
My neighbour is mowing the lawn really early in the morning, can I do anything about it?
The best thing is to have a chat with your neighbour, let them know that their mowing is disturbing you and suggest they do it at a different time. Most people probably won’t even realise that they’re causing a disturbance and will be happy to help.
What is the best time to mow the lawn?
It’s recommended that you mow the lawn in sociable daytime hours, avoiding mowing between 11 pm and 7 am.