Essex: Hedge row after workers burnt massive strip out of gardener’s perfect bush


Chris Arter feels he should be compensated due to the damage to his beloved hedge (Picture: SWNS)

A self-confessed hedge lover has been left seething after his immaculately trimmed bush was scorched by ‘careless’ workmen.

Chris Arter, 68, believes it will take at least two years for his hawthorn hedge to recover as there’s now a foot-wide line of dead leaves stretching across its middle.

The devastated gardener blames broadband workers, who were digging up the pavement outside his house, for burning the near-century old shrub with the red-hot exhaust of a concrete cutting disc.

Chris has carefully tended to the 23-foot long hedge for the last two decades and says he is still waiting for an apology from internet firm Gigaclear for the damage.

The ex-RAF man, who lives in Halstead, Essex, said: ‘I was horrified when I saw the hedge. There was a brown line straight along it.

‘It’s a lovely hedge, it’s been there since the house was built in the 1930s. I’m a country boy, I was brought up on a farm so I like hedges.

‘I’ve been tending to that hedge for 20 odd years. I trim it once every month to keep it looking nice.

‘It’s going to get a long time to get that hedge back – couple of years I expect. The hedge is dying, it’s covered in holes.’

Chris has pruned the hedge for more than two decades (Picture: SWNS)
His love of hedges started when he was young (Picture: SWNS)

Chris feels he should be offered compensation by Gigaclear in the same way as if their workers had damaged a wall or another structure.

But all he’s had so far is a £4 box of bonemeal that’s supposed to make the hedge grow back quicker.

A spokesperson for Gigaclear said the company tried to contact Chris after a story about his ordeal appeared in the local press on Friday.

They added: ‘We have apologised and look forward to reaching a mutually agreeable resolution.

Chris said the company responsible are yet to apologise (Picture: SWNS)
It could take years to get the hedge back into pristine condition (Picture: SWNS)

‘Delivering and installing this infrastructure is an enormous undertaking, which can sometimes be disruptive.

‘Unfortunately, on this occasion, the machinery used by our contractors to dig and reinstate the pavement accidentally damaged a hedge.

‘We have contacted the resident to apologise and are currently in discussions with him regarding a resolution.

‘Gigaclear has been working hard to bring ultrafast full-fibre broadband to several homes and businesses in the Halstead area, to enable the community to benefit from fast, reliable broadband speeds.’

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