Sat 27 Jun 2020
Members of the Vale Douzaine have been out since the 15th checking whether parish streams and hedges have been cleaned and cut back as required by law.
Most property owners have complied with the regulations, designed to enable pedestrians and cyclists to be able to use roads and footpaths in safety, and ensure douits are free-running and don't cause flooding in heavy rain.
Some, however, haven't met the deadline and will have received warning letters and follow-up inspections will have to be held to check that the law is followed.
Problems reported this year include vegetation at the foot of walls and hedges not being cleared and cuttings not properly removed. This appears a particular issue where owners have used a contractor and a flail cutter, with the inevitable debris left lying on the road or pavement.
The regulations, however, stipulate that 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.
Penalties can be imposed for non-compliance, which is why the parishes hope owners continue to be socially responsible and make sure they hit the relevant deadlines.
Please note that under the law, no period of grace is allowed, which is why the inspections start from the 15th onwards.