A farm contractor had a lucky escape after his tractor toppled over while he was cutting a hedge.

The man, in his 60s, is believed to escaped with just cuts and bruises after his tractor overturned on the Ards Peninsula, in County Down, Northern Ireland.

Emergency services were called at about 1.15pm on Wednesday (19 October) to Portaferry Road, Cloughey.

© Ards PSNI

© Ards PSNI

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said the tractor overturned because of subsistence in the field where the hedge was being cut.

See also: Driver’s lucky escape after freak tractor crash

Paramedics treated the farmer at the scene for minor injuries and he was then taken by ambulance to Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, from where he was later discharged.

The road was closed for about three hours to allow for the recovery of the tractor and trailer.

PSNI Ards said on its Facebook page: “A very lucky escape for this farmer on Portaferry Road.

“Thankfully we have local fire and rescue services who live and work in our community and were able to attend promptly to assist. Thanks for everyone’s patience while we made the road safe.”

When Farmers Weekly contacted the farm contractor who owns the tractor and hedgecutter, the owner declined to discuss the accident.

© Ards PSNI

© Ards PSNI

Safety advice issued

Farm contractors and landowners are being advised to take extra care and plan ahead before cutting hedges, especially near overhead electricity cables.

The hedgecutting period reopened on 1 October for six months and many contractors in Northern Ireland and across the UK will be busy catching up on work that could not be done during the summer because of the cutting ban to protect nesting birds.

Energy company Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) Networks has published some safety advice for cutting hedges around farmland.

  • Do not cut trees or hedges directly below live overhead power lines and associated equipment if they are within 5m (16ft 4in) of power lines and associated electricity equipment.
  • Do not cut down trees that are within two times the length of the tree, or less, on either side of live overhead power lines and equipment.
  • Before starting tree or hedgecutting, look up and look out for overhead power lines or associated equipment.

Farmers or contractors in Northern Ireland are advised to stay safe and call NIE Networks on 03457 643 643 about trees hedges or trees that need cutting near overhead power lines.