Ettrick Valley tree trouble growing

SELKIRK,  UNITED KINGDOM - 04 Jan 2012'Michelle Ballantyne @ Pinelodge, Ettrickbridge''(Photo by  ROB GRAY/digitalpic/freelance )
SELKIRK, UNITED KINGDOM - 04 Jan 2012'Michelle Ballantyne @ Pinelodge, Ettrickbridge''(Photo by ROB GRAY/digitalpic/freelance )

AN issue is overhanging the Ettrick Valley, writes Kenny Paterson.

The problem of overgrown trees and hedges alongside the valley’s roads has led Selkirkshire councillor Michelle Ballantyne to approach Scottish Borders Council for help to get landowners to cut back their vegetation.

She said: “I have been in touch with SB Local about the issue.

“These are overhanging branches which are damaging cars, such as scratching paintwork. The roads are very narrow in places and if a vehicle is coming the other way, you are forced to pull in alongside a hedge which is often not cut back.

“It may seem trivial, but it can cost car owners considerable sums of money.

“This is a problem we are experiencing in the Ettrick Valley, but I expect it is an issue in a number of other areas of the Borders.”

Under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984, local authorities can order landowners to cut back obstructing trees and hedges. If they do not comply, councils have the power to carry out the work themselves and charge the owner.

An SBC spokesman told TheSouthern: “Officers carry out inspections on roads and the issue of overhanging trees and hedges is included in these inspections.

“If an area is causing concern we will engage with the relevant landowner as the responsibility to maintain these hedges and trees lies with them. We would then monitor the situation, which would hopefully be resolved.

“In this instance we will look at any specific area that is causing concern.”