New campaign urges residents who are responsible for overhanging trees and bushes to 'Cut it Back'

Council aims to raise awareness of the fact that maintenance of trees and hedges growing on private land is the responsibility of the property or landowner

New campaign urges residents who are responsible for overhanging trees and bushes to 'Cut it Back'

Residents responsible for hedges and trees that overhang roads or pavements in Stockport are being urged to ‘Cut It Back’.

Stockport Council is often inundated with complaints from residents who are unable to use pavements due to overhanging trees and hedges.

The council says overgrown vegetation can force people – particularly wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs – into the road, putting their safety at risk.

Meanwhile, bushes and trees that overhang roads can cause a danger to motorists, especially to drivers of high-sided vehicles such as lorries or buses.

The ‘Cut It Back’ campaign, being promoted through the council’s social media channels, aims to raise awareness of the fact that maintenance of trees and hedges growing on private land is the responsibility of the property or landowner.

Cllr Sheila Bailey, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Stockport, said: “Overhanging trees and hedges which are not properly maintained can cause a real danger to pedestrians and motorists.

“People who have property bordering the road or footway may not realise it’s their responsibility to ensure vegetation is not causing a danger or obstruction.
“We are encouraging residents to maintain their trees and hedges responsibly and to inspect them regularly during the growing season.”

People are advised to ensure the footway is clear of vegetation to a height of 8ft (2.5m) and the road is clear to a height of 17ft (5.1m) and 1.8ft (0.5m) from the edge of the road towards their property.

If made aware of any problems caused by overhanging vegetation, the council’s highways team will write to the landowner asking them to cut it back.

If no action is taken, the council may get its own staff to cut back the tree or hedge and bill the landowner.

It’s important that before you start work, you make sure you check for any nesting birds.

For more advice about what to look out for when you cut your hedges back, visit the RSPB website.