The general consensus seems to be that a hedge between neighbouring gardens should be no higher than approx. 2 metres.
What I would like to know is which side of the hedge the height measurement should be taken.
My neighbour has a well controlled leylandi hedge between our gardens, the only problem is that his garden has been landscaped to make it level while ours still has its natural slope. This means that the hege height from our point of view, along 2/3 of its length, is over 8 feet high and higher.
Does anyone have any views.
On a level site 2m is a general acceptable height but there are so many other things to consider. If you decided to make a complaint to the council they would they would determine whether the hedge adversely affects the your reasonable enjoyment of your property.
It would help to understand the size of your garden, location of the hedge to both properties, the type of property and surrounding properties types and similar borders or these properties, whether your property is suffering substantial light loss from the hedge, what view the hedge is potentially blocking, how a lower hedge might effect privacy from both sides and I'm sure many more I've forgot to mention.
If you're are talking terms with your neighbours then my suggestion is to talk to them first and see if you both come to some understanding. After this then you could inform them that you'd want to seek advice from the council to which could be ruled for or against. If you do take this option then understand that you'll probably have just made an enemy, one which will be there as often as you.
The main reason I asked the question has nothing to do with views or enjoyment of our garden. While our neighbour controls the height of his side of the hedge very well we are having difficulty controlling the branches which encroach on our side. I know that we have the right to remove branches which overhang our garden (and, technically we should give him back the cuttings as they belong to him). However, as we are both over 70 and the slope of our garden precludes the safe use of a ladder how do we reach the top of the 8 foot high length to keep it tidy on our side?
While we do not expect him to trim our side for us we did think that, as a neighbourly thing to do, he might have reduced the height enough to allow us to take care of our side but this is not an option as far as he is concerned hence the reason for asking the question in the first place.
If it's just a case or trimming the hedge then it's one of those things that you either have to get on a do or get someone in to do. I doubt the council will take any action if you haven't explored the above.
Maybe you explain the problem to your neighbour first and see if he/she has any suggestions. He may even take care of it for you for a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake! To be fair, do you know for a fact that he's aware of the problem from your side? If the relationship has broken down then don't feel bad about trimming your side and presenting them with the cuttings for them to dispose of. I wouldn't throw them back over, I would be polite and friendly and give them to him in his hand, face to face, whilst explaining what his obligations are.
As far as reaching to cut I can suggest a number of tools that would do the job perfectly but they come at a cost. I think the RYOBI stuff is pretty good for home use.
The Ryobi Expand-it range allows you to buy one unit and then swap the heads, so you could get the hedge trimmer and the pruner attachment and have a reach well over the 8ft you need.
Try looking on ebay and you'll get some better prices.
As a Septuagenarian myself I can fully sympathise with your dilema. I too have a property bounded by a natural hedge, which ostensibly is [supposed] to be maintained at a height of not more than two metres. My information is that it would normally be kept to the same height of the boundary fence up against which the hedge has been planted: this fence stands at 1.8M or just about six feet high and plenty high enough to afford reasonable privacy. My property too, however, shares the same characteristic in that the garden from the base of the hedge/fence slopes downward so the visually effective height of the hedge from the path - fifteen feet away - alongside the house is nearer eight feet. Adding to this is the fact the hedge is long overdue for trimming and the apparent height of the hedge from my perpective is now around nine feet. As the sun, during spring and summer, spends the better part of the day "behind" this hedge the shadow it throws is quite solid and dense making it dificult to cultivate, with any real effect, using the type of plants we would prefer on what is a south-facing aspect. Perversely, as per the writer's case, the ground on the other side of the hedge is, essentially, level and the impact of the hedge from that perspective is not so alarming. Add to this the fact that it is a public open space of about half an acre, set to grass, with about a dozen or so mixed broadleaf ornamental trees and maintained by the local authority and it becomes clear that, somewhere along the way, the authority has become lax in its maintenance programme or, maybe, they have decided, without notice(?) to "shove" the responsibilty on to the property owners whose properties share this boundary hedge.
As the height from my side is an issue from a safety point of view and the cost of hiring a jobbing gardener quite expensive - I've used them before for other work, so I know - it leaves me in the same dilema as the writer. Indeed I have approached the local authority about the trimming of the hedge: that was several weeks ago and nothing has transpired, i.e. no one from the authority's gardening department has been to deal with the hedge. It is especially perplexing because during the previous years the hedge was trimmed quite regularly by this same authority, but they have remained stubbornly silent over why they haven't trimmed the hedges this year, except that [I hearsay] they are short staffed.
In Germany surprise, surprise, it is a legal obligation for everyone to maintain their heges and fences to no greater than 2M in height and that includes local councils of course - why, I wonder, is Britain (otherwise one of the most advanced nations in the world) so far behind Germany as far as public services are concerned?
It doesn't solve the problem per se: what is does point to, perhaps, is some changes to the legislation are long overdue and the only way to set that in motion is to write to your MP. But, with the World the way it is at present, I don't see any changes in the law forthcoming even in my grandchildrens' life time let alone my own!.....:=/