It’s that time of year again!
Hedges and banks bordering a public road must be cut back between the 1st and 15th June and between the 15th and 30th September each year, so that they do not overhang a road or pavement below a height of 12 feet. It is recommended that hedges are cut in declivity, sloping away from the road, to encourage full and balanced growth. By law all cuttings must be cleared up immediately. Failure to do so can incur a fine of £50 and £5 per day thereafter.
Streams and douits are inspected twice a year, normally at the time of hedge inspection by the Douzeniers. It is the landowner’s responsibility to ensure that the water flow is not restricted and is flowing freely.
Over recent years, an increasing amount of damage to roadside hedges, banks and road-signs has been reported, frequently due to the passage of large farm tractors, trailers and badly controlled flail cutters. There is also the problem of some banks being virtually stripped of any vegetation by aggressive scalping and hand weeding or, worse still, even covering with Mypex. Although all roadside hedges and banks etc., must be cut in compliance with the law, we should all do that we can to preserve the natural environment and beauty of the Island. Banks which have been reduced to virtual “dust-bowls” destroy all flora, fauna and insect life and lead to erosion.
Landowners and gardeners are reminded that as well as also taking care to look out for signs of birds’ nests whenever any cutting and clearance work is carried out, care should be taken to avoid hedgehogs, and hidden Asian Hornet nests*.
*This advice is not only directed to those cutting by hand, but also to those operating tractor mounted equipment. Disturbance of a hornet nest will result in vigorous defensive action by the occupants, with potentially painful and serious consequences for anyone in the vicinity.