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Hedges and Verges

1 February 2016

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It would appear that many local parishes are unhappy with the roadside services currently being supplied by Suffolk County Council and this issue is being addressed directly with our County Councillor, Andrew Stringer.

However, the condition of residents’ hedges and verges in the village was also raised at the last Parish Council Meeting.

Over recent years there has been concern regarding hedge cutting during peak bird breeding times and, for information, here are the rules for 2016:

It is now illegal to cut or trim your hedgerow between 1 March and 31 August, unless you have applied for a derogation from the Rural Payments Agency. The move was introduced to protect some species, but there are some factors that can allow you to trim your hedge during said period.


If your hedgerow overhangs a highway, road or footpath, or if it poses an obstacle to pedestrians or road users, then you are permitted to take action. You may also cut your hedge if parts of it are dead and run a risk to those on a footpath, or if it hampers the vision of road users. You can also trim the hedge if it has been planted in the first six months of the year.

Wickham Skeith is a beautiful village and the Parish Council would encourage property owners to maintain their own hedges and verges, not only for aesthetics but, for those situated roadside or along footpaths, for the safety of other users. It is appreciated that maintaining hedges and verges is not as easy task or one that everyone can do themselves.

With this in mind, the possibility of having a “village syndicate” for such maintenance works was also discussed (similar to the oil syndicate, which works very well). Should anyone be interested in either providing a maintenance service or being a member of such a group, please contact the Parish Clerk, Tara Goodacre, at clerk.wspc@btconnect.com.