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Hedgerow protection and removal

The Hedgerow Regulations seek to protect important hedgerows in the countryside by controlling their removal through a system of notification.

Hedgerows are distinctive features of our countryside and of considerable historical and wildlife habitat value. They make a positive contribution to the character, biodiversity and interest to the landscape.

The system of notification applies to most countryside hedgerows of at least 20 metres or more long, or which meet another hedgerow at each end and must be on, or adjoining:

  • land used for agriculture or forestry
  • land used for the breeding or keeping of horses, ponies or donkeys
  • common land
  • village greens
  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest or local nature reserves

Garden hedges or hedges that form the curtilage of a dwelling house are not affected.

You can find more information on the management and protection of countryside hedgerows on the website.

Apply to remove a countryside hedgerow

If you want to remove a hedgerow you must first submit an application. The application form is available to complete online at the Planning Portal. Submit your application electronically using Planning Portal's online submission process.

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Last modified on 11 August 2023