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Firebreak Policy

If you plan to carry out any firebreak work, please consult MHHL beforehand.

We are sometimes asked by house owners if they can cut firebreaks behind their gardens where they back onto open spaces. 

The answer is 'yes', and MHHL recommends that a firebreak is cut and maintained by house owners.

When making a fire break, please note that the Wildlife and Countryside Act applies; we ask that you observe the following:

·    Under no circumstances are any garden appliances such as benches, dustbins, plant pots or washing lines allowed on this area. The area is a safe space not an extension of your garden.​

·    The boundary between your property and MHHL land must be retained and be clearly defined.

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·    Where the gorse is growing on MHHL land. You as the householder may cut the gorse back to a depth of 3 metres from your boundary;

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·    If the garden depth plus 3 metres of firebreak is not considered sufficient to provide appropriate protection for your dwelling, you as the householder should seek an exemption from the 3 metre rule by contacting MHHL directly;

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·     It should be noted that you as the householder are responsible for the cutting, removal and disposal of the vegetation and the ongoing maintenance of the firebreak. If a contractor is employed to remove the waste they mush hold a waste carriers licence. You can check that is the case by searching here  Waste Carriers Licence Check.

·    Where the gorse is growing on the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in addition to the above, further special guidelines apply:

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·    Please email martleshamheathhouseholders@gmail.com for advice.

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·    Clearance work would normally be expected and allowed to take place from October to February inclusive, i.e. outside the nesting season;

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·    From March to September work would not be encouraged.  However, in circumstances where safety is an imminent concern, and where you as the householder can provide independent approved verification that there are no birds nesting in the gorse, Natural England may allow the work to go ahead;

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·    If independent verification shows that birds are nesting in the gorse, a license from Natural England will be required before any work is undertaken.

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