It's that time of year again when hedges and douits (streams) across the island have to be cut and cleaned and then inspected by the various douzaines.
Many find it a chore, especially since there's been a lot of vigorous growth this season, but it's a legal requirement and, in the case of hedges, all about safety.
If they are allowed to become overgrown, it forces people off pavements and into the road, obscures roadsigns and, in the case of brambles, can hurt passers-by and cyclists, especially at night.
The legal details are below (and taken from La Gazette Officielle notice placed by St Peter Port Douzaine on behalf of all the parishes) but hedges and douits need to be cleaned by 15 June please and then inspected by members of the Douzaine as part of their voluntary duties to make the Vale and pleasant and safe place to live.
CUTTING OF HEDGES
In conformity with “The Cutting of Hedges Ordinances, 1953 (as amended) & 1989” and the Parochial Administration Ordinance, 2013, the Constables and Douzaines of the several parishes of the Island hereby give notice to the owners of land bordering public roads and corners that they are required during the ﬁrst ﬁfteen days of June, to cut and trim the hedges thereof (a) up to a height of 12 ft. from the road surface where that road is ordinarily used by vehicular trafﬁc – N.B. this includes the road AND footpath. and (b) up to a height of 8 ft. from the road surface where that road is not ordinarily used by vehicular trafﬁc and IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER REMOVE FROM PUBLIC ROADS AND HEDGES ALL MATERIAL CUT FROM HEDGES.
For the purpose of this notice hedges shall be deemed to include trees and branches of trees, and all kinds of growth overhanging a public road at a height less than that speciﬁed above. Any persons defaulting in the above requirements shall be served with a Warning Notice giving seven days to cut the hedge and immediately remove all material cut from such hedges from the public road.
Further, if the Warning Notice is not complied with, a Civil Penalty Notice will be issued. A Civil Penalty Notice imposes an initial ﬁne of £50 and an ongoing ﬁne of £5 a day until the hedge is cut and cuttings are cleared. Note: “All kinds of growth” overhanging a public road also includes that which actually grows on roadside walls and banks. It is also necessary to ensure that the hedge is not only trimmed, but cut back so that no part of it less than the required height overhangs the boundary of the road or footpath. NO PERIOD OF GRACE WILL BE ALLOWED.
The Constables & Douzaine of the several parishes of the Island
STATES TRADING SUPERVISORY BOARD - CLEANING OF STREAMS
The States Trading Supervisory Board, in its capacity as the Central Streams Committee, hereby gives notice to the proprietors of land bordering the following controlled streams in the Island that such streams must be cleaned and an unrestricted ﬂow of water ensured by 15 June 2018 after which date the streams will be inspected by the appropriate Streams Committee. All streams and tributaries thereof which discharge into:1. Grand Havre Bay through the Vale Pond and at 8. Rocquaine Bay Rousse 2. Bellegreve Bay through the Tonnelle d’Orgueil 9. La Grande Mare 3. The public sewer at La Charroterie, St Peter Port 4. La Biloterie and La Maladerie 5. Perelle Bay (Bas Marais) 6. Vazon Bay through the Jean Thomas Outfall 7. Long Port (Cobo) and onto the beach at Cobo, west of the junction of Cobo Road with the coast road. 10. La Lague, St Peter’s 11. Rue Mahaut, St Saviour’s 12. La Croix Martin 13. Petit Bot Bay.
To clean a stream and ensure an unrestricted ﬂow involves not only the cutting and removal of weed from the bed but also the removal of any obstruction to the ﬂow of water and any silt, which may have accumulated in the stream bed.