Dodge the hedges

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I WAS horrified to read in the press recently that one or two people actually LIKE our overgrown untidy roadside hedgerows!

I had friends over recently and I was both embarrassed and ashamed at the state of our country roadsides; full of overgrown weeds, coarse grasses, fern fronds, brambles, all in wild abandon; so tatty, unkempt and grossly neglected, and, more importantly, dangerous for motorists.

Surely, road safety and the appearance of our island’s roadsides and highways are of greater importance than the welfare of a few beetles and spiders?

I am sure there are plenty of places on the island for them to colonise where they can flourish undisturbed?

I have had to play ‘dodge the hedgerow’ and had my visibility greatly impaired whilst driving as hedgerows are spilling out uncontrolled into the roadways, in many places, quite densely causing further narrowing of already narrow roads to the point where it is quite a close shave when meeting a vehicle approaching for the opposite direction.

If private properties had this much overhanging and impinging into pathways and roads, the owners would be receiving notice to cut it back and tidy it up!

Some years ago I had a holiday in Jersey, my friend and I were so impressed with how beautifully manicured the roadsides were and how clean and cared for the entire Island looked in comparison to the tatty appearance here.

The Isle of Man could look equally beautiful if our hedgerows were properly and regularly tended keeping them clipped short, neat and tidy. The current neglect is quite disappointingly disgusting, totally unattractive and a dangerous nuisance when driving!

This is not an area we can afford to cut on costs, not only is this overgrowth hazardous to motorists, it paints a picture that couldn’t care less about the appearance of our homeland. Hopefully, this can be addressed quickly and we can have safety on our roads combined with a beautifully presented Island, because we deserve it just as much as those we attract as visitors.

GILLIAN MOORE,

Port Erin

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