Removing a Hedgerow

The Hedgerow Regulations specify who is able to submit a Hedgerow Removal Notice they are:

  1. the owner of the freehold of the land
  2. the tenant if the land is part of an agricultural holding
  3. the tenant if the land is subject to a farm business tenancy
  4. certain utility operators

A person who intends to remove all or a section of hedgerow should provide details of the hedgerow to be removed on the Hedgerow Removal Notice form. The form must be accompanied by a plan (at a scale of 1: 2500) showing the section(s) of hedgerow to be removed. The Authority is not yet ready to accept e-mail applications and the completed form and site plan should be returned to:

Dartmoor National Park Authority,
Parke,
Bovey Tracey,
Devon,
TQ13 9JQ

What happens next ?

On receipt of a Hedgerow Removal Notification the Authority has 6 weeks in which to determine whether the hedgerow can be classed as ‘important’ as defined by the Hedgerows Regulations 1997. For a hedgerow to be ‘important’ it must be 30 years and satisfy at least one of the archaeological, historical or ecological criteria listed in the Regulations. If the hedgerow is ‘important’ the Authority may issue a Hedgerow Retention Notice, thereby refusing permission for the hedgerow to be removed. If you have not heard from the Authority within 6 weeks of receipt of the notification you may carry out the work as specified in the notification.

Work must not be carried out until, either the Authority has agreed to the work or the 6 week consultation period has passed. If the works are carried out before the Authority has granted permission or before the 6 week consultation period has passed the land owner may be committing a criminal offence.

Applicants who have been refused consent to remove a hedgerow have a right of appeal to the Secretary of State for the Environment.

Further information

Defra have published some further guidance on their web site:

> Hedgerows: Your questions answered (Defra)