Mowing your lawn is an essential gardening task that should be done once or twice a week during the summer. But unlike most gardening activities which are quiet and often almost meditative, the noise levels this particular chore produces can be anxiety-inducing, even with the best lawn mowers. Which is not our ideal garden idea.
So whether you’re wondering what time can I legally mow my lawn or have a neighbour that’s getting on your nerves with their lawn-mowing noise at any given time of the day and week, our gardening experts have all the answers regarding the lawn mowing antisocial hours to keep your neighbours on your good side.
What time can I legally mow my lawn?
While the UK has no laws in place regarding when you can and can’t mow your lawn, councils have the authority to investigate noises that are above permitted levels between 11pm and 7am under the Environmental Protection Act of 1990.
‘If you mow your lawn regularly at antisocial times of the day, your neighbours might (and they have the right to) end up reporting you and councils can investigate and issue warnings for noise complaints between 11pm and 7am,’ says Natalie White, managing editor at Rated People. ‘It can be classed as being antisocial to cut your lawn before 7am in the morning or that it’s a ‘statutory nuisance’, especially if you have a lawn mower that’s quite loud.’
And if one doesn’t comply and continues to mow the lawn during antisocial hours after being issued a warning, they can be fined anywhere between £110 and £5000 or even prosecuted.
But what are those permitted levels of noise one cannot cross?
‘Generally, the permitted noise level is 10dB above the natural noise level. If the natural noise level is 24dB or under, then the permitted noise level is 34dB,’ explains Steve Chilton, garden expert from LeisureBench. ‘To put this into perspective, the average electric lawnmower makes around 70dB of sound, with petrol lawnmowers making considerably more.’
‘Chances are, if you're out using your lawnmower before 7am and after 11pm, someone will eventually complain and you will receive a warning or investigation,’ he sums up.
When is it too late to mow the lawn?
As a general rule, experts advise mowing your lawn before 6pm. Or 7pm at the very latest, whether it’s the weekend or a weekday.
‘If your neighbours have small children, chances are they will be trying to sleep or at least settling down to sleep at around 7 or half 7,’ says Steve. ‘You'll be quick to make enemies if you continually mow much later and keep your neighbours' children awake,’ he warns.
‘It is also considered more respectful to avoid cutting your grass if your close neighbours have guests visiting and are hosting within their garden,’ adds Jack Sutcliffe, co-founder of Power Sheds. ‘The noise can be very irritating when hosting and the pollen could affect guests.’
When is it too early for lawn mowing?
The earliest that you (or anyone) should start lawn mowing in the morning is 8am on a weekday and 9 or even 10am to be safe during the weekend, according to our experts. It's not only good for your neighbour relationships, but also for the wellbeing of your grass and lawn mower as 'the grass is likely to be damp from the night before, leaving it more vulnerable to damage, says Natalie. There's an extra lawn care tip for you.
‘In my opinion, it's antisocial to be mowing your lawn at any time before 9am on a weekend, and any time before 8am on a weekday,’ Steve explains. ‘There's nothing worse than being woken up early on a weekend when we only get two days to sleep in. So I think sticking to a 9am rule at the earliest is a good way to stay friendly with your neighbours.’
And if you’re up at the crack of dawn ready to start gardening, there are other, less noisy gardening jobs than lawn mowing that you could take up first, according to Natalie of Rated People. ‘There are plenty of quieter gardening jobs you can do before this time to get ready for mowing, such as pruning plants or bushes, watering plants and hanging baskets, planting, or repotting plants.’
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Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home and interiors. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors. She feels the two are intrinsically connected - if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.
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