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Countryside hedgerow removal

Countryside hedgerow removal

Hedgerows are protected by the Hedgerow Regulations 1997. Under these regulations, it is against the law to remove or destroy certain hedgerows without permission from the local planning authority.

Permission is required before removing hedges that are at least 30 years old and meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Marks pre-1850 parish or township boundary.
  2. Incorporates or is associated with an archaeological site.
  3. Marks the boundary of, or is associated with, a pre-1600 estate or manor.
  4. Forms an integral part of a pre-parliamentary enclosed field system.
  5. Contains certain species of birds, animals or plants listed in the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
  6. Includes between five and seven woody species in a 30 metre length.
  7. Runs along a bridleway, footpath, road used as a public path, or a byway and includes at least 4 woody species on average in a 30 metre length.

If you want to remove a hedgerow, or part of a hedgerow, covered by the above criteria, you will need to submit a hedgerow removal application.

More guidance can be found on the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs website.

These regulations do not apply to any hedgerow within the curtilage of, or marking the boundary of, the curtilage of a dwelling house.

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