Essex Highways make appeal to landowners over ditches and low hanging trees

News / Wed 8th Feb 2023 at 09:59am

ESSEX Highways is calling on landowners with ditches and low hanging trees near roads to make sure these are cleared and cut back ahead of the spring.

Carrying out this work ensures that roads and pathways are kept clear as vegetation grows during the warmer months making them easier to use for pedestrians and motorists. 

Landowners are responsible for maintaining trees, hedges, shrubs and ditches on their land, even if they are close or next to a road or pavement. They have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent, or reduce as far as possible, the risk of injury or damage that could be caused to anyone else. 

In addition, Essex Highways will resume grass cutting and weed spraying services to prevent overgrown vegetation from blocking the highway and causing flooding.

Completing this work before the spring also ensures nesting birds are not disturbed and helps prevent flooding in wet conditions, as well as improving visibility and usability of the network for local residents.

Examples of works that should be carried out by landowners include:

  • Cutting back overhanging branches, which reduce the width of or block the view of the road.
  • Cutting back overhanging branches that reduce the height or clearance of the road for tall vehicles such as double decker school buses.
  • Removing or trimming a damaged or diseased tree that is in danger of falling onto the road or pavement.
  • Trimming overgrown hedges obscuring road signs or streetlights. 
  • Clearing of any ditches located on private land to avoid any flooding during periods of heavy rain.

Most trees and hedges by roads are on land owned by private landowners, including district councils, city council, parish councils, housing associations and homeowners.

Cllr Lee Scott, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport said: “The maintenance of the vegetation found on our road network plays a crucial role in ensuring they are safe for all road users.

“We will do our bit to ensure that the vegetation and ditches located on our land are maintained. However, we are unable to maintain anything located on private land. This is where we will need the help of landowners.

“Please look after the area outside your home by keeping any overhanging vegetation and ditches clear and encourage your neighbours to do the same.”

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7 Comments for Essex Highways make appeal to landowners over ditches and low hanging trees:

2023-02-08 10:04:56

Essex CC hardly a paragon of good practice of good maintenance given the state of the roads!

Mr Grumpy
2023-02-08 12:00:17

Is Essex CC having a laugh? They are the world's worst at any kind of maintenance !!

Kim Oconnor
2023-02-08 12:46:33

😂 😂 😂 It's very easy to tell others to do work, it's a shame Essex cc don't do the same. Essex cc this made me 😂 So you think that trees hedges is going to cause accidents, but you don't think pot holes will.?? Pot holes are causing damage cars and vans, motor bikes, and 17 cyclists have been killed because of them. Just a stupid article, and not the right time to give your orders out, when your not doing your job.

Tired of this
2023-02-08 12:50:52

Essex Highways should go and have a look at Oakwood Pond, after the unfortunate recent events. The state it has been left in is a disgrace. The drainage ditch next to the cycle path has been blocked with discarded tree cuttings from the search process, blocking the drainage ditch. Water from the lower settling pond is now building up. When we eventually get some rain the lower wooded areas will flood again. The whole drainage system from the pond along the edge of Fold Croft down to the Golf Course needs to be looked at. Should walk the talk (practice what they preach).

geoff turner
2023-02-08 13:22:27


2023-02-08 15:14:40

I think that its a good idea that Essex Highways want the overhanging branches and bushes cut back. That way, there will be more light and better visibility on the roads. At least then the motorists are more likely to see the hundreds of potholes that Essex Highways aren't going to repair.

Peter Henegan
2023-02-08 16:26:51

Great comments guys, not often I agree with them all. Hope Robert Halfon has seen this

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