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Overgrown hedges and vegetation can cause safety problems for people using the highway. Especially if they suffer from impaired vision or need a little more space for wheelchairs, mobility scooters or buggies.
Most hedges adjacent to the highway form part of the private boundary feature of the property. This means that the responsibility for maintenance of the vegetation falls under the land or property owner. If the local Highway Steward sees a safety problem during a routine inspection or if a complaint is made we will send a letter to the property owner asking for the hedge or tree to be cut back.
There is an overgrown hedge obstructing the footway or carriageway
The local Highway Steward will inspect the area, if the vegetation is causing a safety issue they will ask the owner to cut it back. If we cannot get hold of the owner directly, we will write to them and ask them to advise us within 14 days of their action. The Steward will inspect the hedge again after 14 days to see whether it has been cut. If we haven't heard from the owner or they refuse to cut it back, then our enforcement team will investigate. If the owner still refuses following an enforcement notice, then we will arrange for cutting ourselves and recharge the owner.
I have received a hedge cutting notice, how much do I need to cut?
Any vegetation should be a minimum of 50cm for the edge of the carriageway/Footway.
I have received a hedge cutting notice, but the hedge does not belong to me
Sometimes it can be difficult for us to identify the owner of any overgrowth. If the vegetation does not belong to you, please let us know.
I have received a hedge cutting notice but there are birds nesting in it
Bird-nesting season runs from the beginning of March until end of August. If you know your hedge grows out over a footway or the road, please ensure that you arrange to cut it back before or after bird nesting season. If the hedge is causing a safety issue, we may still request that you cut back, taking care not to disturb the nest.
There is a wasp nest on highway land
East Sussex Highways only deals with wasp nests which are directly on highway land. We are unable to remove nests located on private property.
If there is a wasp nest on highway land the local Highway Steward will inspect the site first to confirm that it is on highway land and that it is a wasp nest. If the wasp nest requires removing they will arrange for a pest control officer to deal with the nest safely.
If the nest is on private property, it is the owner’s responsibility to contact environmental health within their district or borough council.