Dear Sir,

Large areas of Britain are still served by the narrow lanes of the 19th century, Glamorgan, Devon, Cornwall, quite unsuitable for modern traffic. Now that we have huge machinery which can uproot hedges and replant them 10 feet further back to broaden these lanes into roads, people of my radical temperament would consider that a splendid use of national resources.

But I recognize that landowning aristocrats shaped English Law, so British citizens do not favour the Compulsory Land Purchase Scheme which other nations would use to achieve national improvements. Such ambitions would remain bogged down in the English High Courts.

But a friend suggested to me, ‘Why do we not make it a matter of compulsory law, that either the local authority or the landowner, who presently trim the outer side of those roadside hedges, which stand 8 ft or 10 ft tall, cut them back to a maximum height of 3 ft?’ We think hedges are important to the countryside for agricultural and wildlife reasons, but only on hundreds of miles beside lanes, they are a source of accidents and death.

No one could possibly contradict my friend. With smaller hedges, every driver could see all oncoming traffic in time to prevent an accident. Any child riding a horse on the lane ahead, would be easily observed. There are no disadvantages or extra costs.

We live in a peculiar country, Britain, where every adult must see the advantages of such a valuable change. And yet, only a tiny number ever feel moved to call for intelligent action. The rest are too self-obsessed to care or think.

C.N. Westerman