Berkshire villager's anger after church pruned hedge & 'ruined' her £2m home

A villager is not resting on her laurels after a church pruned their massive hedge down to the ground – and ‘ruined’ her £2m home.

Villager Frances Carey is fuming after the 100-year-old laurel hedge in the lane by her £2 million home was cut in half – and says it has ruined her views.

The 66-year-old claims church wardens sparked the unholy row, after reducing the ten-foot hedge to a “horrendous eyesore” after church authorities took secateurs to it.

The hedge is on church grounds, runs for about 100 yards and is a major visual feature of the lane.

St Mary the Virgin Church in Datchet, Berkshire, said the hedge had needed intensive work to save it and had been wasting away behind the green foliage.

But Frances said she was shocked at just how much was chopped off.

Frances, who has lived near the hedge for 28 years, said: “I thought you had to get permission to do something like that.

“It was 10 feet high and three feet wide before – now it is barely 1.5 metres above the ground. This hedge was 100 years old.

“There has been no consultation about this work and my neighbours are as upset as I am.

“They have just left ugly black stumps, creating a horrendous eyesore and destroying the habitat of birds and animals.”

Churchwarden Elaine Eastham has defended the decision, however, saying that the hedge had needed intensive work to save it and had been wasting away behind the green foliage.

She said: “It had to be trimmed back in order for it to grow back much richer.”

Councillor Gary Muir, who represents Datchet on the Royal Borough and is also lead member for grounds on Datchet Parish Council has been drawn into the row.

He said this week that the borough was looking into the issue to see if any rules had been breached regarding the hedge.

He said: “It does look a mess I agree.

“The situation has been handled quite badly.

“They should have had the courtesy to let people know they were planning to cut the hedge.”

By Grainne Cuffe and Francis Batt

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