Residents hit out after winter hedge trimming in March leaves paths destroyed and greenery ‘butchered’
- Credit: Archant
Contractors hired by Fenland District Council have been accused of destroying hedges and damaging paths in March.
Hedges surrounding the playing field on Gaul Road and along Lime Grove were chopped back in preparation for the winter months last week.
But some residents have hit out, saying they are now too low and the works – carried out by contractor ISS - have left debris and damaged paths behind.
Margaret Baines, who has lived on Lime Grove for 20 years, said: “We get so much trouble with the kids with their footballs down here and not only will we have more of that, you can now see the people in the hut at the back smoking away.
“It gets trimmed once a year and was about twice the height before but they’ve come in and completely made a mess of it.”
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Another resident said: “My mother-in-law has been down here for 45 years and she has never seen the hedge so low. It’s been butchered.”
Councillor Jan French raised the issue at full council on Thursday (2) after hearing of residents’ complaints via Facebook.
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“The footpath around Gaul Road park wasn’t good before but their machine has cracked all the path and left big tracks in the grass,” she said.
“A man who lives on Cousins Close said that his garden was left covered in branches and wood after they had finished. The council came and cleared it up quite quickly but others have said they have lost their privacy because the hedges are too low.
“A lot of wildlife lived in the hedges too so they will have also have been affected.”
Another resident claimed that the cracked and uneven path at Gaul Road park caused her son to fall off his scooter on his way to school, injuring his arm.
“People helped him as he said he couldn’t feel his arm,” she said. “All ok tonight though.”
The council has since apologised. A spokesman said: “On this occasion the hedges were cut back with a tractor flail mower; an industry standard tool which our contractors use to carry out the large volume of work across Fenland. We accept the mower should not have been used in this location, adjacent to a property, and apologise for any inconvenience and damage caused to the footpath. We have been back to clear up the area and will be assessing the path.
“The cutting season is now over, with hedgerows cut back in readiness for winter and growth in the spring. We will review feedback on our hedgerow cutting and incorporate that into our annual programme for next year.”