In conformity with "The Cutting of Hedges (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017", the Constables and Douzaines of the several parishes of the Island hereby give notice to the occupiers of land bordering public roads, or, if the land is unoccupied, to the owners thereof, that they are required during thefirst fifteen days of June and the last fifteen days of September, to cut and trim the hedges thereof:-
(a) up to a minimum 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 such public roads and hedges all material cut from such 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.
Also every owner of land bordering the corner of a public road shall ensure no hedge overhangs that corner to as to obstruct the view over or around that corner.
Hedges must be cut back in declivity (sloping away from the road) - see diagram
Agriculture, Countryside & Land Management Services (ACLMS) have released a statement regarding hedge trimming as of April 2021.
“ACLMS fully appreciates the concerns surrounding hedge trimming and wildlife.
“It is however also an offence to knowingly disturb or destroy a wild bird nest under Section 7 of The Animal Welfare (Guernsey) Ordinance, 2012 and therefore land owners are encouraged to check their hedgerows prior to cutting. If they discover nesting birds, land owners should avoid disturbing them by not cutting the hedge for a metre around the nest or by undertaking minimal cutting using secateurs. Land owners only need to cut the side of the hedge that faces a public road and hedges can be cut normally once the chicks have fledged. If land owners are concerned that an uncut or lightly cut section of hedge will create a hazard to road users then they should contact their Parish Constables for advice.”
As of 1st September 2017 anybody failing to undertake their legal duties will no longer face the possibly of criminal prosecution in the Magistrate's Court as Warning and Civil Penalty Notices are being introduced which may be issued by two or more Constables or Douzeniers to :
Every owner of land bordering a public road, who has failed to cut their roadside hedges between the prescribed periods of 1st and 15th June or 15th and 30th September or who, having cut the hedge has failed to clear up the cuttings immediately afterwards; or
Any landowner who fails to carry out the duty on him/her to clean a watercourse, clear it of obstructions to ensure it is free flowing or fails to repair the watercourse's banks.
The Warning Notice will give
- The landowner, 7 days to cut the hedge or 24 hours to clear the cuttings;
- The landowner 7 days to clean or clear the watercourse or repair its banks
before a Civil Penalty Notice is issued.
If the infringement identified in the Warning Notice is not remedied within these time scales, the Parochial Douzaine will be able to issue a Civil Penalty Notice without any further warning on the 8th day.
A Civil Penalty Notice imposes an initial fine of £50and an ongoing fine of £5 per day for every day the infringement continues, i.e. for every day the hedge remains uncut or the cutting are not cleared; or, in the case of water courses, every day the water course remains uncleaned or uncleared or the banks unrepaired.
In addition, the new Ordinance also amends L'Ordonnance ayant rapport a la construction de Maisons, Salles Publiques et Batiments, et au Tracement de Routes et Chemins of 1931 enabling an appeal to be made by a party aggrieved by a decision of a Parochial Douzaine not to grant a Bornement.
The new Ordinance also allows anybody served with either a Warning Notice or a Civil Penalty Notice, or a refusal to be granted a bornement a right of appeal to a new Tribunal which is to be known as "the Parochial Appeals Tribunal".
The Parochial Appeals Tribunal is an independent body whose members have been appointed by the Royal Court to hear any appeals. The President and Vice President must either be Advocates of the Royal Court or be or have been members of Guernsey's judiciary. Advocate Peter Harwood has been appointed as President and Advocate Peter Atkinson as Vice-President of the Tribunal.
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.
CLEANING OF CONTROLLED STREAMS
Controlled streams must be cleaned of all vegetation and obstruction by 15th June and 30th September.
Property owners must therefore ensure streams are free from over-grown vegetation, growth in the stream and anything that prohibits the free flow of water.
Further details of the new Hedges Legislation can be found here and the Parochial Appeals Tribunal details can be found here.