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 need permission to remove hedgerows in these locations. You do not 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.
What happens next
We will let you know within six 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.
More information on protection and management of hedgerows is available on GOV.UK.