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Volunteer to clear ice and snow

During snowy and icy weather, we prioritise:

  • clearing routes for buses and emergency vehicles
  • maintaining access to hospitals, schools and main roads

Our resources are limited so we cannot clear ice and snow on every pavement or road in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

If you're planning ahead to clear ice and snow, try to:

  • buy salt and grit in advance
  • familiarise yourself with local gritting routes
  • make sure you have access to shovels and equipment to clear snow
  • check the forecast regularly.

Unfortunately we cant provide you with equipment, salt or grit.

What you can do to help clear ice and snow

In previous years, we've been contacted by people asking how they can help, and some of you helped to keep pavements and public spaces clear of snow, especially around your homes, neighbours homes, and schools.

We are delighted that members of the public want to help their communities. You can best do this locally for your immediate neighbours - the people you know who need help and assistance.

However, some people were reluctant to help because they were afraid of being sued. There is no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your property, the pathways to your property or to any public spaces.

If an accident did happen, it's highly unlikely that you would be held legally responsible as long as you are careful when clearing the snow and ice. 

Just remember to use common sense to ensure you don't make the area more dangerous than before.

Tips on clearing snow and ice

Follow these suggestions for the safest way to clear snow and ice:

  • wear warm clothes and footwear with a good grip
  • don't take risks on the road and wear visible clothing so you can be seen
  • try to clear snow or ice early. It's easier to move loose snow and the sun will help
  • melt ice
  • clear a small path down the middle of the pavement for a safe surface to walk on, and then shovel from the centre to the kerbside
  • don't block paths, driveways or drains
  • use salt or sand - not water, as it will freeze, ordinary table salt can be used or you can buy bags of rock salt from DIY shops
  • use more salt on steps and steep pathways
  • sand gives a good grip, but won't stop the path icing over
  • salting areas before snow falls makes snow clearance easier
  • don’t use hot water - this will melt the snow, but may replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.

There’s a lot you can do to help if you want to, so be a good neighbour this winter - some people may be unable to clear snow and ice on paths from their property, clear it for them.