Leading Article: End hedge tyranny

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The Independent Culture
"THE RIGHT Hedge for You" is not the most exciting of titles, even for a Government publication. However, for those fellow-citizens unfortunate enough to suffer hedge tyranny by inconsiderate, stupid or just plain evil neighbours, this leaflet, along with other measures announced by the Minister for the Environment, Michael Meacher, is one of the few weapons they have in their struggle.

At last, the Government has chosen to do something about those neighbours from hell whose obsession with privacy leads them to grow vast, 100-foot- high forests of leylandii and the like in suburban gardens. We can only guess at what lurks in such expansive shrubberies. But for those who suffer loss of light, damage to property and serious psychological stress they represent miniature Berlin Walls - and are no less oppressive or difficult to tear down.

So although Mr Meacher and his leaflets and consultation paper ("High Hedges: Possible Solutions") are welcome, we worry that he may be hedging his bets. As with the fall of the Berlin Wall, we need a velvet revolution to liberate those living on the dark side of these satanic shrubs. We hope that Mr Meacher has enough fire left in his belly to cry freedom, and legislate to abolish hedge tyranny for good.

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