Snow Code

There's no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your home or from public spaces. So it's unlikely you'd be sued or held legally responsible if someone was injured on the path if you clear it carefully.


"If we face another harsh winter we need many more local authorities to encourage residents to do the responsible and neighbourly thing shifting their own snow… there's no health and safety reason for them not to. I am delighted to see there's a lot more common sense in Derbyshire."

Judith Hackett CBE, Chair of the Health and Safety Executive

Follow the Snow Code

Follow these simple steps set out in the Government's Snow Code:

  • Start early - clear the snow or ice early in the day and cover the path with salt before nightfall to stop it refreezing overnight.

  • Use salt or sand - not water. Help prevent black ice by spreading some salt on the area you have cleared. Use ordinary table or dishwasher salt - a tablespoon for each square metre you clear should work. Sand or ash won't stop the path icing over as well as salt, but will provide good grip under foot.

  • Take care where you throw the snow so it doesn't block people's paths or drains. Make sure you make a path down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface to walk on. Then shovel the snow from the centre of the path to the sides.

  • Be a good neighbour. If your neighbour will have difficulty getting in and out of their home, offer to clear snow and ice around their property as well − especially if they're elderly or disabled and depend on social care services which need to reach them.

  • Pay extra attention to clear snow and ice from steps and steep pathways - you might need to use more salt on these areas.

Grit provided in grit bins across the county is for use on public pavements, paths and roads only − not private property.

Spot a grit bin which is damaged or needs refilling? You report it, we'll sort it.