CUTTING OF HEDGES

In conformity with "The Cutting of Hedges Ordinances, 1953 & 1989", 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 the first fifteen days of June and the last fifteen days of September, 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 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.

As of 1st September 2015 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 :

  •          Any occupier or, in the case of an unoccupied property, the owner, 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 occupier or, in the case of an unoccupied property, the owner, 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 £50 and 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.

Bornements

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.

New Tribunal

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.

Further details of the new Hedges and Streams Legislation can be found here.