Gardener with Hedge, Guardian of Space!
Private gardens (gardener with a hedge), placed side by side, occupy considerable surfaces. Properly designed and managed, they contribute to the quality of the frame of life. Elementary common sense, landscape concerns, respect laws, the desire to safeguard the environment or to promote the nature must be the guides of the amateur gardener. Regulations exist and every citizen has rights and duties facing issues of urban planning and land use planning. The presentation of these is sometimes quite complex.
Know first that in this matter, all prescriptions are contained in the Walloon Code of Spatial Planning, Town Planning and Heritage (CWATUP) and in the Rural Code. Special Planning Plans (PPA), or the municipal regulation town planning, if they exist, also contain sometimes prescriptions, for example in terms of plantations along roads and their surroundings, along with the rivers …
These are the rules that you must refer to and to help you will often need wise advice. Gardening and maintaining or improving one’s heritage is first done in the compliance with the regulations.
1. What is allowed?
• How far from the terraced boundary is it necessary to plant a tree?
• How far should a hedge be planted?
• What species can we plant? Are there regulations on this subject?
• Is a building permit required to install a greenhouse or garden shed?
• Can I install hives on my property?
• Under what conditions can we cut the branches that overhang the garden?
• Can I demand that the neighbor cut the branches that go beyond me?
• Who owns the fruit of the apple tree whose branches are overflowing home? Just asking these questions shows that you can not do anything, anywhere. The town planning department or the eco-advisor of your municipality can you help in your information efforts.
2. Regulation and common sense
• If you are planning to create a pond, apply for a building permit is necessary if there is a noticeable change in the relief of the soil.
• The provisions of the Law on distances of plantations of the species woody trees and shrubs whose trunks and branches produce wood) fix at a distance of two meters for the tall stems and 50 centimeters for the bushes and the hedges, the rules to respect. Nothing prevents you, between neighbors, to hear you to plant at a lower distance. It is recommended in this case to fix this agreement in writing.
• A hedge, planted by a single owner on his land, must lie at a distance of at least 50 cm from the neighborhood if the height of the plantations is limited to two meters, one meter at least if the maximum height is 3 meters, two meters at least if the height exceeds the three meters.
These are examples of situations defined by law.
• An exuberant hedge, which overflows on the sidewalk, neither the height nor the thickness regulations are not respected and which disrupts the passage of pedestrians, thereby creating a certain danger, is a case of neighborhood disorder that should be solved with a little common sense and a dispassionate dialogue.
• A thuya or cypress hedge in a hedgerow rural landscape where the charm, the beech, the hazel and the hawthorn dominate may appear as “a punch in the eye”. No local prescription prohibits the planting these species. Common sense should, however, lead to account the general characteristics of a region in landscaping individual.
• By planting a hedge, have the reflex of promoting biodiversity. It is indeed a living environment that offers both an enrichment of the decor and the landscape in which it integrates brings a range of shapes and colors, produces berries and fruits, offers the shelter and cover to a multitude of animals, birds, mammals, amphibians, butterflies, bees …
The hedge also has other functions in the environment, as does to protect homes, crops, animals from the wind, to slow down the flow of rainwater and curb soil erosion. In your garden, planting a hedge made of indigenous species, mixed or not, is, therefore, a contribution to the improvement of the environment. Due to their adaptation to local climatic conditions or to the soil, your hedgerows will have better resistance to various diseases and to predators, a way to limit the use of potentially toxic.
Have you not found the answer to your problem here? It’s normal. These few examples were intended only to illustrate the complexity of situations and to show that you are not alone in sometimes encounter difficulties. If you are facing a problem of this order, the urban planning department or environment of your municipality can usually help you to see more clearly in the decisions to be made. Do not hesitate to contact the eco-adviser or the official competent municipal authority.
To help you develop this particular aspect of your garden, there is many publications and organizations that will bring you the information and the advice you need. Consult the references at the end of the brochure, they will tell you how to plant a hedge, which essences to choose, what are the benefits that you will get from the hedge, how to maintain it, what are the benefits for the environment.