Overgrown hedges encroaching on pavements is the subject of complaint by some residents. Narrow pavements such as on Chapel Hill have got narrower as homeowners have allowed hedges to grow further out, sometimes engulfing street signs. Up to a metre is lost. At a time when we are being told to socially distance, the problem is even more noticeable and there is no option but to jump into the road to avoid other pedestrians.
The blind and partially sighted are the most inconvenienced. A blind woman wrote on social media about her difficulties – and hopefully her appeal will encourage people to take responsibility for overgrown hedges:
As a blind individual, I am finding it increasingly difficult to walk my usual routes around the local area. There are countless bushes/trees overhanging onto and dominating the pavements. As my long cane helps me navigate my way around using reference points, these overgrown obstacles often disorientate me and are difficult to manoeuvre around safely. Even with a trained sighted guide, these obstacles are tricky to tackle as we are forced to go single file.
Over head dangling foliage on public paths, also pose a danger as they are a facial hazard.
Whilst many have an increased time availability during these current times, I pledge for you to maintain any foliage overhang from your property, to make the pavements safer for the less able.