Countryside hedgerows

Hedgerows  in the countryside are protected by the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 from being removed without permission.

The regulations cover hedgerows that are on, or run alongside:

  • agricultural land
  • common land
  • village greens
  • nature reserves and protected land
  • land used for forestry
  • land used for the breeding or keeping of horses, ponies or donkeys.

You will therefore need permission to remove hedgerows in these locations. You don’t need permission to remove hedgerows in or bordering gardens. In all locations you should check whether any other restrictions apply for example grant conditions, planning conditions and bird nesting season.

Apply for permission - Planning Portal

What happens next

We will let you know within 6 weeks following submission of your application whether removal is allowed or refused. 

If you remove a hedgerow without permission (whether it is important or not) you may face an unlimited fine. You may also have to replace the hedgerow.

Sources of further guidance