Snow Friends pulling together to prepare for wintry weather

Published Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Snow Friends provide welcome extra pairs of hands supplementing the work of the council when it snows.

The initiative adds to the council's existing gritting and snow clearing operations which are already the most extensive of any London borough. 

A conference streamed live on our website from 4.30 pm on Tuesday 7 September will explain what the council does and how local residents can play their part to support their neighbourhood as a valued Snow Friend.

Residents interested in setting up new Snow Friend groups are invited to attend the conference virtually at the time by visiting or contact the council for further details before the start of wintry weather and possibly heavy snowfall. It’s never too soon to prepare for the unknown.

Councillor Will Rowlands, Executive Assistant for Environment and Community Services said, “Snow Friends have already proved themselves to be invaluable in removing snow from the smaller residential roads which the council simply cannot get to, allowing council crews to concentrate on critical main routes and more heavily used pavements.

“We are enormously proud of our Snow Friends who remain on standby over the winter, ready to help clear snow from their residential street and our thanks goes to them.  We are inviting existing Snow Friends to tune in, but if you are new to the idea and would like to find out more about being a Snow Friend, you are warmly invited to tune into our Snow Friends conference.”

The council grits more miles of main roads than any other borough covering around 280 miles of a total of 500 miles and has capacity to store 7,000 tonnes of salt - one of the largest supplies of salt stocks of any London borough. Roads are treated when road temperatures are predicted to be freezing. In addition, the council's snow clearance crews also work to clear snow from pavements across the borough, focussing on town centres, outside schools and transport interchanges.

This work still leaves many residential roads and pavements ‘untreated’, and this is where our valued Snow Friends are able to make a difference providing support by clearing snow from their local street with salt and snow scoops provided free of charge by the council, subject to availability.

Residents considering volunteering as a Snow Friend can be assured that there is no law preventing them from clearing snow and ice from the pavement or pathway outside their property, or from public spaces. Snow Friends are advised to be careful and use common sense to ensure that they do not make the pavement or pathway more dangerous than before, but people walking on areas affected by snow and ice also have a responsibility to be careful themselves.

Willing volunteers can also contact the council at to join an existing group or to register their interest in possibly starting a group with like-minded neighbours. Following the conference, it will be posted online for those unable to attend the live stream.

Watch the Snow Friends conference 2021


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