Keeping our hedges in check

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Roadside hedges encroaching on pavements are an increasing problem for pedestrians in some of parts of Fetcham.  

And with more of us out walking over the pandemic, it’s an especially valid complaint.

Andrew Grimme, who lives in the Lower Road area, wrote to us explaining the difficulties he’s faced while trying to push his elderly mother in a wheelchair.  

“As you head towards the Old Street, these are some of the worst places, as the pavement is reduced to no more than about 12 inches in places and the hedge exceeds the boundary by over 2 feet.  It means the wheels on the chair need to go over the uneven muddy grass which increases the risk of tipping etc.” he wrote.

It's easy to forget how much pavement width is there - somewhere under the hedge!

Severely reduced widths make it difficult for parents pushing buggies too.

In some places however, boundary hedges may in fact be part of the highway, and not be the responsibility of the adjacent property owner.

If you think this is the case then you can report the matter to Surrey County Council here.

But in most cases boundary hedges are the responsibility of homeowners.  The FRA would urge residents with a boundary hedge parallel with a pavement to look at it once in a while from the point of view of a passing pedestrian.

So spare a thought. Even if you believe that a hedge or verge may not (technically) be your responsibility, taking a neighbourly approach will always be appreciated.  It goes a long way to cheering up our roads too. 


  1. It is not only Fetcham which suffers from this problem. Here in Ashtead there are numerous areas where the hedgerows have encroached on to the pavement area. I always understood that councils had the authority to issue warnings to residents who failed to maintain there roadside hedges that if they weren’t cut back the council would come along and do the cutting ack and then bill the resident.
    Failure to maintain hedges from overlapping into the public footpath area is selfish and extremely dangerous to many resident, e.g.., disabled, elderly, pushchair and pram users to name but a few of the users whoare put at risk.

  2. I have been wishing to complain about hedges in Fetcham for a while now. This post has prompted me to write. I walk up and down The Mount frequently pushing a buggy. Many hedges protrude across the pavement making it very difficult.
    AtThe house on the corner of The Mount and Cobham Road by the Fetcham village sign is particularly bad.
    I would welcome some action by FRA.
    Thank you.

  3. I also live in The Mount and quite agree with Alison Gillott. It should be possible for two people to walk side-by-side on the pavement but too often there is only room for one and then with a foot on the grass verge. Part of the problem is the hedges have been planted right on the border line as opposed to 2 or 3 feet inside to allow for growth. This is obviously very difficult for wheelchairs and, equally hazardous, is the restriction of one’s sight-line. We live just after a bend in the road and the protruding hedge next door means that we lose 50-60 yards off our view up the road – potentially very dangerous.

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