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Hedgerow regulations

What constitutes a protected hedgerow?

These regulations relate to any hedgerows that are growing on, or adjacent to, land used for agriculture. There are a few exemptions and it is advisable contact us to discuss your individual case.

Hedgerows within the garden areas of dwellings cannot be protected under this legislation.

Is there a difference between a hedge and hedgerow? 

Yes. A hedge is a line of trees or shrubs maintained to form a physical boundary. A hedgerow is this same line of trees or shrubs but in association with other flora and fauna and physical features such as banks and ditches, in other words a complete ecosystem.

How do I apply to remove a countryside hedgerow? 

You need to submit a planning application to request removal of a countryside hedgerow. This is formally known as 'serving a removal notice' and is done by completing the appropriate application form.

How much does it cost to submit an application to remove a countryside hedgerow?

There is currently no charge for an application to remove a countryside hedge.

What happens after I have submitted my application?

The council has a six-week period to decide if the hedgerow is an important hedgerow as determined by the criteria set down in the legislation. This includes the length of the hedgerow, its age, its species composition or historical significance. If the hedgerow is considered to meet these criteria the application to remove will be refused and the refusal will constitute a hedgerow retention notice.

Can I appeal against the refusal of a hedgerow removal/retention notice?

There is a right of appeal against any refusal. Any appeal should be made within 28 days of the date of the formal decision.

Further guidance and a form to appeal are available on the Planning Portal.

What are the penalties for destroying a hedgerow in contravention of the hedgerow regulations?

If convicted of an offence in the Magistrates Court a fine of up to £5,000 can be imposed. More serious cases may be tried on indictment in the Crown Court, where fines are unlimited. There will also be a requirement to replace the hedgerow.


If you have any queries relating to hedgerows, contact us.