Hedge cutting

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Billybee
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Location: Radcliffe on Trent, Nottingham

Hedge cutting

Postby Billybee » 10 Feb 2009, 4:26pm

On a number of rides that I do at certain times of the year - autumn/winter especially - hedge clippings are a disaster waiting to happen. As most hedges are made up of hawthorn the puncture hazard is huge. Modern tractor-attached hedge cutters throw out a huge number of clippings for a fair distance. On a road, vehicles typically flick these aside within a week or two but where hedges are adjacent to cycle ways or along canal towpaths, these clippings stay around for months. As far as I am aware, few farmers ever bother to try to clear up THEIR mess.
What is the legal position regarding hedge cutting? Is there any requirement for farmers to tidy up? Or is the answer to grin and bear it and fit puncture resistant tyres?

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Si
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Postby Si » 10 Feb 2009, 4:44pm

there was a bit about this in Cycle a while back: successful claims were made against the farmers IIRC.

Here you go....this might help you:

link to story

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 10 Feb 2009, 4:48pm

Depositing stuff on the highway is prohibited by the Highways Act, but enforcement is nil and if you ever got a case to court it would probably be in a rural area with a bunch of rustics on the bench.

They do have some sort of Code of Practice and I understand you can get blowers which fit on the cutting machinery but it is one of those things nobody is going to alter. :(

(As in 'I've got a brand new combine harvester' - The Wurzels. :wink: )

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meic
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Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Postby meic » 10 Feb 2009, 9:24pm

Blackthorn are worse than Hawthorn.

It is a "not a chance in hell" scenario.

If you get a puncture you could sue for damages. If you win you get how much? £5?
You would have to prove that the puncture came from the hedge cuttings from that particular farm, no reasonable chance of that.
Prior to sueing you would have bucket loads of paperwork that would make your roadside repair look like a holiday.

The farmer would not be bothered, he would just pass the letters to his insurer, the NFU.

However I have heard that Cheshire Council do act on the issue, so you could move there.
Yma o Hyd

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Colin63
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Location: Lancaster

Postby Colin63 » 10 Feb 2009, 10:01pm

The methods used to manage hedges are far from ideal, but there is hope. Until recently hedges were merely a way to separate fields, as traditional management died out (CAP grants were only for increasing yeild on the farm not conservation). Nowadays the grants available to farmers are for stewardship and the maintenance of hedgerows is included.
There is a paradigm shift in the approach to farming happening at the moment as farmers adjust their businesses to new values. It won't happen everytime you try, but if you want to stop hedges being flailed to death with the resultant punctures, try getting groups like the BTCV to contact the farmers to offer to pleach the hedges. The farmers could get paid under the environmental stewardship scheme, BTCV volunteers get to do useful work and you'll get to have an uninterupted ride.

There's always a win/win solution if you bang your head against the wall hard enough!! :lol:

eileithyia
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Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Postby eileithyia » 11 Feb 2009, 8:08am

Also, Peter Ward and other members of Ribble Valley CRC successfully sued for punctures/damages incurred by a club run.
http://www.ribblevalleycrc.com/ Will lead you to their contacts.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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cycleruk
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Location: Lancashire

Postby cycleruk » 12 Feb 2009, 1:28pm

It is an offence under the Highways Act 1980 to obstruct the Highway, or interrupt (delay or impede), injure or endanger any user of the Highway. Offences are each subject to a maximum fine £1000.
In respect to hedge cuttings, it is an offence to leave cuttings on the road, footpath or cycle track which delay or endanger cyclists or harm other users

If the local authority is called out to sweep up cuttings, those responsible could face paying for the cost. (£400 is typical. )

Those who suffer delay or damage may be able to sue those responsible for compensation.

(gleaned from a pamphlet Lancashire County Council).


So report problem to your local council.