The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 allow local planning authorities in England and Wales to protect important hedgerows in the countryside, by controlling their removal through a system of notification.
Garden hedges are not affected.
Find out more information and guidance on the hedgerow regulations.
Why are hedgerows protected?
Hedgerows are distinctive features of the countryside, are often of considerable historic interest and support a great diversity of plant and wildlife species. Their role in conserving and enhancing biological diversity is recognised in the UK biodiversity action plan. Many hedgerows date back to the first enclosure of the land and may incorporate other historic features such as ancient earthworks, parish or old property boundaries.
Under the regulations it is against the law to remove or destroy certain hedgerows in Lichfield District without permission from Lichfield District Council.
What works to hedgerows need permission?
Permission from Lichfield District Council is required before removing hedgerows that are at least 20 metres (66 feet) in length, more than 30 years old and contain certain species of plants and associated features.
The regulations set out criteria that must be used by the local planning authority in determining which hedgerows are important. The criteria relate to the value of hedgerows from an archaeological, historical, landscape or wildlife perspective.
If the hedgerow meets the required standard the council may serve a hedgerow retention notice.
You could get a fine up to £5,000 if you break the rules for removing a hedgerow. In serious cases you could get an unlimited fine for removing hedgerows in cases referred to the Crown Court.
What to do if you want to remove a non-domestic hedgerow
If you propose to remove a hedgerow, or section of hedgerow, you must give us six week's prior notice in writing. Once we have received your notice, we have 42 days to respond. Please include a plan that clearly shows the location of the hedge and the part to be removed.
The best way to submit your hedgerow removal notice is via the government Planning Portal.
Alternatively, you may download a PDF of the hedgerow removal notice form, or a hard copy can be obtained by emailing email@example.com or calling 01543 308183.