Islanders urged to think of wildlife during Branchage

Environmental campaigners are asking people to balance the need to cut back their hedges with preserving local wildlife. Credit: PA Images

Islanders are being asked to be mindful of wildlife as Branchage gets underway in Jersey. Environmental campaigners are asking people to balance the need to cut back their hedges with preserving local wildlife.

Each year, officials check the island's green lanes are kept clear from overhanging trees.

What the law requires:

  • There is a clearance of 12 feet over main roads and by-roads

  • There is a clearance of eight feet over footpaths

  • That you clear all trimmings from the road or footpath etc. afterwards

If a landowner fails to keep their vegetation under control, they can face fines of up to £100.

However, as the event gets underway Action For Wildlife is stressing the importance of following Branchage guidelines.

They were part of the working group which helped introduce the changes to the Branchage Law in 2019.

The guidelines say that when preparing for Branchage, islanders must not:

  • Cut the vegetation around the base of trees, shrubs or hedges

  • Destroy nests or roosts or injure nesting birds, bats, hedgehogs or other wildlife

  • Carry our major hedge cutting in the bird breeding season (1 March to 31 July)

  • Cut too severely that bare soil is exposed

  • Cut lower than 10cm

  • Use herbicides for routine branchage practice

  • Flail or strim Japanese knotweed

  • Leave cuttings scattered

  • Cut the inner margin of hedgerows every year, and never in the spring or summer

  • Cut rare or endangered plants

Branchage visits will start from 24 June.