Deadline looms for hedges and streams

Sat 16 Sep 2023

Owners of properties with hedges or streams are being reminded that the deadline for cutting and cleaning them is the end of the month and that inspections will start immediately after the 30th. Official notices have been published by the States Trading Supervisory Board, acting as Central Streams Committee, to give notice of this.

The reminder has been issued because this year the cut-off date falls on a Saturday so anyone looking to leave it until the weekend could find themselves technically in the wrong on the Sunday. The law is quite specific: Hedges and trees bordering a public road have be cut back between the 15th and 30th of September each year in order that they do not overhang the public road up to the height of 12 ft from the road (where the road is ordinarily used by vehicular traffic) or 8 ft from the road (where the road is not ordinarily used by vehicular traffic). By law, all cuttings must be cleared immediately. It is the responsibility of the land owner to keep all hedges and trees trimmed and under control throughout the year, not just at inspection time.

The Constables and the Douzaine inspect the hedges and report on their state to the Parish Office who will contact the land owner if necessary.

This is to comply with the Cutting of Hedges Ordinances and the Parochial Administration Ordinance 2017, under which the Constables and Douzaine have to give notice to the owners of land bordering public roads that they are required to cut and trim the hedges as directed above.

Failure to comply with the legislation can incur a civil penalty of £50 plus an additional fine of £5 per day in which the failure continues, although the parishes try to avoid imposing this by liaising with owners.

Most streams on the Island are inspected twice a year following the 15th of June and after the 30th of September. Owners must ensure that streams are free from overgrown vegetation and silt to enable the water to run freely. Land owners are also requested to ensure that the Constables are able to freely access the stream for inspection. The state of the streams is reported to the Parish Office who will contact the land owner if necessary.

This is so the parish can comply with the Loi Relative aux Douits, 1953 and the Parochial Administration Ordinance 2013, which means that streams are required to be clear of all debris, weed growth etc. to ensure that they flow in an unobstructed manner.

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