Daily Archives: June 19, 2009

A simple walk

The day was calm, dry and the sun shone warming my bones and casting shadows.  The speed limit is 30 miles per hour but at that moment there were no moving vehicles, the only sound came from high in the trees and I was enjoying the winged choir.  A smooth clean and level path was a welcome addition.

It is a road well known to me so I am aware of the hazards…. Irresponsible dog owners who regularly ignore the signs to use a poop scoop, leaving me to dodge around the mess!  Facing traffic hurtling around that bend at break neck speed far to busy to obey the rules of the road.  If they were not enough hazards to contend with, add in the over hanging branches.

I am 5’6″ and the photo was taken with the viewfinder to my eye and not looking through the larger screen.  If you travel back along the lowest branch on the left hand side to a bright patch under a cone, that is my eye level.  I need to bend my head to my chest in order to pass underneath, or step into the road and oncoming traffic (we drive on the left hand side of the road).

This is one of many trees overhanging this wall.  The gardens on the other side of the wall are at a much higher level.  In wet and windy winter weather it is more hazardous.  Our days are shorter, darker and mostly wet.  As the branches wave and trash about weighed down with water they are capable of knocking off glasses, causing facial injury or in an extreme case causing the loss of an eye.

There are electricity cables running above the level of the wall.  At least every two years the Northern Ireland Electricity demand that the upper branches are cut back from the path of the wires.  Pedestrians are not catered for at all.  I have in the past approached the local council on my own behalf and behalf of others who walk along this way, but they do nothing.

Neighbourhood watch in these parts is of the squinting window variety, The people watch plenty, but when asked they have seen nothing!

Am I within my rights to bring clippers and cut the offending branches or to approach the house owners (more than one), or will it antagonize them into further non-action?