Watch Out For That Hedge!

Council cracking down on dangerous foliage

Related Links

Hedges that could do with a trim

Sign up for email newsletters from,,

Comment on this story on the forum

If you don't get your hedge cut back you could be guilty of an envirocrime.

Ealing council has been sending postcards to 'offenders' warning them that their foliage is dangerous and they need to do something about it.

Acton resident Marie Siddique has received a postcard through her door from the envirocrime unit which reads:

Section 154 Highways Act 1980

Vegetation which overhangs the public highway

Following an inspection on (date) by a member of staff from the Envirocrime Prevention Service it is noted that vegetation from your property overhangs the public highway.

Please arrange to cut back or prune this vegetation within the next 7 days thereby removing the obstruction and potential hazard to other highway users.

She is looking at ways to get her hedge trimmed and has contacted the council to find out what will happen if she doesn't get it done in the next 7 days and is awaiting their response.

Groups representing disabled people have asked councils to encourage householders to keep garden vegetation properly trimmed and prevent it from encroaching onto pavements and footpaths.

Hedges or trees that are left unchecked can pose a serious hazard for blind and partially sighted people and also for  people who use wheelchairs.

Surveys have found that 95 per cent of blind or partially sighted people cite overhanging vegetation as one of the biggest problems they face whilst walking.

Now councils throughout London are starting to crack down and want households with hedges, shrubs and trees to make sure they are pruned regularly and not left to grow out over the public highway.

Wandsworth council is also urging local people to report examples of overhanging foliage.

Households with branches or hedges that are overhanging the public highway and posing an obstruction will then receive letters asking them to cut these back within 14 days.

If the letters are ignored, the council will carry out the necessary work and bill the owners.

We have asked Ealing Council what action they are planning to take, and awaiting a response.



June 11. 2010