Hedgerow Regulations

Hedgerows are probably the defining feature of the agricultural landscapes of Breckland. We want to see important hedgerows retained for landscape, historical or wildlife reasons, and are particularly aware that the contorted pine hedges of the sandy Brecks are a characteristic which sets Breckland apart from other regions of the country. Highways, byways and green lanes with boundary hedges can be valuable links with the past. Ancient species of rich hedgerows have been adopted as a Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plan Habitat.

Following the widespread loss of hedgerows in the second half of the twentieth century, the government introduced theThe Hedgerows Regulations. These require a person to give the local planning authority six weeks notice of their intention to remove any hedge on or bordering agricultural land, forestry, commons, greens or nature reserves, stating their reasons. Hedges between domestic dwellings are not included.

The regulations are quite complicated, but if a hedge is judged to be 'important' by the necessary historical, landscape or biological criteria, the Council may serve a Hedgerow Retention Notice, thereby protecting the hedge from removal.

      You can download a copy of the Hedgerow Removal Notice form by clicking on the link below.

      Hedgerow Removal Notice

      Hedgerow Removal Notice Guidance Notes

      Hedgerow Regulations FAQ's

      The following information is taken from the leaflet - The Hedgerows Regulations 1997: A Guide to the Law and Good Practice

      More detailed guidance can be found inThe Hedgerows Regulations 1997: A Guide to the Law and Good Practice

      New rules on hedgerows came into force on 1st June 1997:

      • It is against the law to remove most countryside hedgerows without permission.
      • To get permission to remove a hedgerow you must contact your local planning department.
      • If the authority decides to prohibit removal of an important hedgerow it must let you know within 6 weeks.
      • 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.


      Last updated: 15/04/2020 11:41:03