St. Andrew's Douzaine, Guernsey

Hedges and Streams

Hedges

Hedges 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 the height of 12 feet. Ideally, hedges should if possible, be cut in declivity (sloping away from the road). By law all cuttings must be cleared up immediately.  Failure to do so can incur a fine of £50 and £5 per day there after.

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.

Streams

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.

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Landowners and gardeners are reminded that as well as taking care to avoid injuring hedgehogs, they must also take great care care to avoid cutting or strimming through any hidden Asian Hornet nests.  This advice is not only directed to those cutting by hand, but also to those using 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.

It is therefore worth taking a little time to check for signs of nests before any cutting and clearance work is carried out, either during the statutory hedge cutting periods or, at any other time of the year.