Hazardous hedges – don’t let your hedge be a hazard

Did you know that where hedges and trees grow on the edge of the highway or footpath and mark its boundary with private property, it is the responsibility of the adjacent landowner/occupier to maintain them? This is per the 1980 Highways Act Section 154, which can be found here.

Overgrown hedges and trees next to pavements and roads pose a hazard to pedestrians, particularly those who are visually impaired, disabled and young families with prams. If the pavement is narrow or the obstruction is excessive, they may be forced into the road – increasing the risk of an accident.

Therefore, we are politely reminding residents that it is their responsibility to cut their hedges back to their property line and nothing should overhang onto the footpath; please be considerate to your friends and neighbours by keeping your hedges and trees cut back.

In cases where hedgerows are not cut back and causing a safety issue, Essex Highways Authority will be informed and they may serve a notice on the owner/occupier requiring the work to be completed within a certain timeframe. Failing that, the Authority has the power to do the work and claim back the cost from the owner/occupier.

To avoid disturbing nesting birds, any maintenance should be carried out after 1 September and before 1 March. Because of climate change and more prolific growth it may be necessary to cut back at the beginning and end of that period.