What is branchage? In translation, branchage means branches. It is an old jersey law ensuring the safety on the roads and paths for pedestrians and cyclists, by removal of any overhanging vegetation.
How often is branchage carried out?
It is advisable to keep your hedges and vegetation maintained all year round, however, the branchage should be carried out twice a year and is subject to inspection. First trim should be done in July, followed by the second one in September. Different dates apply to different parishes. If in doubt, the dates are usually available on the official Jersey government website.
What are the requirements?
- If you are an occupier of the property that is bordering with roads or public footpaths, you are required to follow certain protocol.
- Hedger and trees should be trimmed or cut back to 12 feet above the road level to ensure that buses and lorries can safely drive by.
- If your property borders with a public footpath or a cycle path, all vegetation must be removed to 8 feet above the path. This ensures safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
- Any vegetation growing on the boundary walls or the banks surrounding the fields needs to be trimmed or removed if it interferes with the road safety.
- All the debri should be removed and disposed of.
Failure to undertake the branchage usually results in fine.
To be on the safe side and to avoid the fine, we advise trimming all the vegetation in line with boundary wall or stone.
Protect the environment
- July is a time when the birds can be found nesting. We recommend inspecting your hedges prior to trimming to ensure their wellbeing
- Hedgehogs are often hiding in taller vegetation on the banks, or underneath the hedges. Ensure their safety, by checking regularly during or before strimming the tough grass.
- Avoid strimming the banks all the way to the ground to ensure healthy regrowth and protect any rare or endangered plant species.
Branchage can often be a challenging task, but there is no way around it. If in doubt, consult a local professional.