Do I need permission to remove a hedgerow?

The Hedgerows Regulations of 1997 mean that it is against the law to remove most hedges without permission. Removal is uprooting or otherwise destroying a hedgerow. There are a number of exceptions which include essential work by the utilities and emergency access.

Proper maintenance, including coppicing, severe pruning and ‘laying’ are allowed without specific permission.

The regulations only cover hedgerows that are:

  • at least 20 metres long or that are connected to other hedgerows at both ends, or are part of a longer hedgerow
  • in or adjacent to common land, village greens, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) or land used for agriculture, forestry or breeding or keeping of horses, ponies or donkeys

Trees within a hedgerow are considered to be a part of the hedge and are therefore subject to the restrictions of these regulations.

How to apply for permission

If you wish to remove all or part of a hedgerow please download Form of hedgerow removal notice and send to us. Please include a map or plan of the area indicating where the hedgerow is and which section you wish to work on.

How do I make a complaint about a high hedgerow?

Matters relating to ‘high hedges’, as defined under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act, are dealt with by the Environment and Community Team. Please visit our Pollution control - nuisances page for more information.

Further information about high hedges

For further information please visit:

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