Tonnes of grit given away

Published: Tuesday 27th November 18

The council has given away almost two hundred bags of grit and rock salt over the past two weekends as part of its preparations for cold weather.

Dozens of local residents turned up to the Dormay Street depot in Wandsworth to collect up to two bags each. Each year the depot hands out free grit on two Saturdays at the start of winter.

When temperatures plummet and roads and footpaths are covered in snow and ice the council’s fleet of gritting vehicles and dozens of staff are dispatched to clear it away, but with nearly 230 miles of road surface and 450 miles of pavements it is a mammoth task that always takes time to complete.

When there is a cold and icy snap local people often contact the town hall to volunteer to clear paths in their neighbourhoods, which is why free grit is offered to residents and community groups. Local people also have much better knowledge of their neighbourhoods and are better placed to clear ice from the front garden paths of vulnerable or elderly people.

Find out more about how the council prepares for winter in its Winter Service Plan.

There are also grit bins across the borough which anyone can use to clear footpaths. Find out where they are, and get advice on clearing ice yourself, at

Elderly and vulnerable people struggling with cold weather can get support from the Wandsworth and Richmond Assessment Point. Find out more.

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Recent comments

Melody, the "grit" given away by the Council is rock salt, i.e. common salt mined from underground in the UK. It also naturally contains a bit of sand, dirt and grit (hence the brown colour). It's not processed, no chemicals are added - the impurities help with grip, the salt itself melts the snow and ice under UK conditions. Salt+dirt/grit is no worse for pets' feet than a sand-and-shingle beach and paddling in salty sea water. They'll lick the salt off afterwards - not ideal if they do it too often, so I'd rinse them after a walk. Extended salt exposure can cause dryness and cracking in the foot pads (like human skin) - moisturize them as you would rough, dry hands, or if you're worried consider protective booties!
Ossie Bee

30 November 2018

TONS of grit, please not 'tonnes'. The phrase in English (both UK and US usage) is still spelled 'tons of' when it's just a generic term for 'a very large quantity'. The term 'tonne' should only be used when you are giving a fairly exact amount - the tonne specifically means a metric ton, i.e. 1,000 kilograms (about 1.5% less than a UK ton). So, if 196 x 25 kg bags were taken, you could say that '4.9 tonnes' were given away, or even "almost five tonnes". Other than that it's "tons of...".
Ossie Bee

30 November 2018

please could you assure me the grit is safe for pets to walk on

30 November 2018