Local Noise Sources

With clever solutions the noise level within your garden can be reduced. Make a note of noise sources like roads, factories, airports etc. Plot the direction and distance of the noise source. It may be useful to also note the time of day for peak noise.

A photograph showing overhead wires entering a house via a pair of insulators

Planting solutions will effect a small reduction in noise levels but these effects are largely psychological in nature. In order to effect a measurable reduction in sound levels it is necessary to construct a sound barrier, which is usually a type of modified garden fence. If noise reduction is a real issue, you will probably do best by consulting a professional. He or she will have both the equipment and the skills and experience necessary to measure noise levels.  Their specialist survey will allow them to calculate the measures that you need to take to ameliorate the problem.

 

Utility Lines

Utility lines may be carried overhead on poles or pylons or can be buried underground.

It is very important to know where all utilities are before you begin excavations or other work in your garden. You may run the risk of disturbing underground services, while over-head lines may create limitations to the design.

A photograph of a manhole cover with a stone wall and some bright yellow flower planting

 

Do not plant trees or large shrubs directly below overhead conductors, as branches coming in contact with them may cause problems in the future. Locate these utility lines on your survey drawing and consider them carefully when designing your garden. Be aware also that the root systems of trees and shrubs may cause problems with underground utilities. If any doubt exists always consult the service provider which will usually be happy to advise you.

Tip: Manhole covers can help you identify the positions of underground services. Therefore find and mark any MHCs (Man Hole Covers) on your survey. If possible identify what service they are for. It is possible but not always true that services travel between MHCs of the same type. Do not open or investigate inside these MHCs without seeking permission from the service provider. As a guideline, place lines on your survey between the same MHC types. Never cover a MHC as they will be needed in the future and are costly to find once they have been buried.

Remember: When digging, if you uncover anything that indicates the presence of services, STOP! Then seek professional advice before you carry out any further work. Underground plastic warning tape or gravel lines that follow the direction of the service may indicate their presence. However, with older services there may be no indication until you uncover the service itself.