Hedgerows play an important role in the landscape, providing attractive boundary treatments, defining land boundaries and providing important habitat for wildlife.
Hedgerows are covered by the Hedgerow Regulations 1997. Generally, the legislation means that it is against the law to remove or destroy certain hedgerows without notifiying the Council first.
When do I need permission?
You will need permission to remove a hedgerow if it is on, or runs alongside:
- agricultural land;
- common land, including town and village greens;
- land used for forestry or the breeding or keeping of horses, ponies or donkeys; or
- a local nature reserve or Site of Special Scientific Interest
Permission is also required if the hedgerow is a minimum of 20m in length, over 30 years old or contains certain species of plants.
When do I not need permission?
You do not need permission to remove a hedgerow if...
- It is less than 20m in length (unless both ends join up with other hedges or is part of a larger hedge);
- It is in, or borders your garden (although such hedges can be subject to a retention requirement under a planning condition, you should check any consents or check with the Trees Officers);
- You are removing it to gain access, either in place of an exisitng access provided new hedging is planted to fill the original gap, or when another means of entry is not available (except at disproportionate cost). You are advised to contact the trees officers prior to starting work;
- You are removing it to gain temporary access in the case of an emergency.
N.B. Normal management and maintenance of a hedgerow does not require permission.
How to apply
If you wish to remove a hedgerow, or part of a hedgerow, you will need to complete a Hedgerow Removal Notice. You can apply online through the Planning Portal or you can download the necessary forms and guidance from the Application Forms page of this website.
You should clearly show on a plan, the location/length of the hedgerow to be removed and where any part of the hedgerow was planted less than 30 years ago. If possible, please include evidence of planting date.
An information leaflet has been produced by DEFRA - The Hedgerow Regulations - Your Questions Answered.
If you are concerned about the height of a neighbours hedge, you can find out more information on the High Hedges webpage of this website.