Hedgerows

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Hedgerow regulations

The Hedgerow Regulations make provision for the protection of important hedgerows in England and Wales.

Before removing any hedgerow, including a stretch of hedgerow, to which these Regulations apply the owner (or in certain cases a relevant utility operator), must notify the local planning authority – regulation 5. The hedgerow may not then be removed if the local planning authority serves a hedgerow retention notice.  This may be done only if the hedgerow is important according to the criteria set out in regulation 4 and Schedules 1 to 3 of the Regulations.  The requirement for the owner (or utility operator) to notify the local planning authority does not apply to the permitted work described in regulation 6.

There are provisions for:

  • criminal offences - regulation 7
  • replacement of hedgerows removed in contravention of the regulations - regulation 8
  • appeals against hedgerow retention and other notices - regulation 9
  • record-keeping by the local planning authority - regulation 10
  • enforcement by injunction - regulation 11
  • and rights of entry - regulations 12 to 14

There are also provisions for hedgerows owned by the local planning authority - regulation 15 and ecclesiastical property - regulation 16 (1).

The criterion for determining important hedgerows set out in paragraph 6 of Part II of Schedule 1 refers to publications known as Red Data Books. Copies of those publications are available from specialist bookshops and are available for inspection between the hours of 9 00am and 5 00pm Monday to Friday at the offices of the Department for Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1 and of the Welsh Office at Cathay's Park, Cardiff.

If you wish to undertake works to or remove a hedgerow subject to the Regulations, you must first submit a Hedgerow Removal Notice to the New Forest National Park Authority. This form is available to download from the website.

  1. Hedgerow regulations (you are here)
  2. High hedges
  3. High hedge legislation

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Hedgerow regulations

The Hedgerow Regulations make provision for the protection of important hedgerows in England and Wales.

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