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Hedgerows Regulations

The Hedgerows Regulations 1997 give protection to hedgerows that grow on agricultural, common and forestry land, horse and donkey paddocks, nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Do I need permission to remove my hedgerow, either in whole or in part?

Yes, if your hedgerow is on, or runs alongside:

  • Agricultural land
  • Common land, including town or village greens
  • Land used for forestry or the breeding or keeping of horses, ponies or donkeys
  • A Local Nature Reserve or Site of Special Scientific Interest

Permission is not needed when:

  • The hedgerow is shorter than 20 metres (unless both ends join up with other hedgerow or is part of  a longer hedgerow)
  • The hedgerow is in, or borders your garden

Note that gaps of 20 metres or less are counted as part of the hedgerow. A gap may be a break in the vegetation or it may be filled, for example, by a gate, fence or wall.

Normal management of your hedgerow does not require prior permission.

Only certain people may ask for permission to remove a hedgerow:

  • The landowner
  • An agricultural tenant
  • A farm business tenant
  • Certain utility companies (such as gas companies)
Application for hedgerow removal