Vegetation Encroaching on Roads and Pavements



Owners or occupiers of properties with trees, shrubs and hedges next to highways, roads or footpaths are responsible for routinely checking to see if their hedges, trees or other vegetation need trimming or cutting back.  This notice is a standing reminder to all such owners or occupiers.

Overhanging vegetation (overgrown foliage and low hanging branches) can obscure visibility of potential dangers and can cause obstruction for road and pavement users.  These include drivers of cars, school buses and commercial vehicles, cyclists, horse riders and walkers.  Such obscuration and obstruction can cause particular problems for the blind, and elderly, and people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters / buggies.

Owners or occupiers of properties have a legal responsibility (Highways Act 1980, Section 154) to ensure that the ‘public highway’ (defined as any verge, footway, carriageway, bridleway or footpath) is not obstructed by vegetation from their property. Cutting back should be done to a minimum width from the highway of 1.2m (or to the boundary which is the central growth line) and to a height of 5.2m (roads) or 2.5m (verge/path).

Owner / occupier considerations:

  • Does a hedge restrict the width of the pavement?
  • Are people forced to walk at the edge of the pavement, or even on the road?
  • Do trees, shrubs or hedges overhang the road?
  • Do trees have a preservation order on them?

Help the community by:

  • Maintaining hedges and trees safely and responsibly
  • Letting the Parish Council or Lincolnshire County Council know about any junction where the view is blocked by overgrown hedges or long grass
  • Checking trees regularly – diseased or dead trees can be a danger

If the Parish Council or Lincolnshire County Council notice overhanging vegetation during a routine inspection, or receive a complaint, they will ask the owner or occupier of the property to trim or cut the vegetation back.  If an informal approach does not work, Lincolnshire County Council may exercise its powers to take more formal action.

Lincolnshire County Council maintains grass verges and some hedges on highway land, which will be trimmed where they become a nuisance or a hazard.  There will be three safety cuts between April and October.  At junctions and some bends, verges are cut to the highway boundary to improve visibility.  Parishioners can report overgrown grass causing a visibility issue at a junction/bend and overgrown hedges via or by calling 01522 782070.  Lincolnshire County Council will act where there is a risk to public safety.