Hedgerows and high hedges


It is an offence to remove a hedgerow in the open countryside without first obtaining a written notice giving permission. If the hedgerow is protected or important, we may issue a hedgerow retention notice requiring the hedgerow to be kept.

You can apply to remove a countryside hedgerow in an open countryside by submitting an application form, or you can apply online via the Planning Portal.

You do not need to tell us that you are removing a hedgerow if:

  • It is less than 20m long, is not part of a 20m length and does not meet another hedge at either end.
  • It is in or borders a domestic dwelling.
  • You are making a new opening to replace existing access to the land (the previous access gap must be filled by planting a hedge within 8 months of making the new opening).
  • You are correctly managing the hedgerow by laying or coppicing.
  • There is no other cost-effective way of accessing your land.
  • You need to create a temporary access point for emergency purposes.
  • The land is needed for national defence purposes.
  • It is for carrying out work which has planning permission.
  • It is to eradicate or prevent disease or tree pests by law (eg a plant health (forestry) order).
  • It is to prevent interference with or damage to electric power lines and apparatus.
  • It is to complete legally permitted drainage or flood defence works.
  • New trunk roads or motorways are being built on the site.

For information on the removal of countryside hedgerows see: