The Hedgerows Regulations 1997
Under these regulations, it is illegal to remove or destroy important hedgerows without permission from the local planning authority. A hedgerow is classed as important if:
- it is at least twenty metres (sixty six feet) in length
- the hedgerow is more than thirty years old
- it contains certain species of plant
- the hedgerow is of particular historical interest
- it runs on, or alongside, agricultural land, common land, land used for forestry, land used for the breeding or keeping of horses, ponies or donkeys or a Site of Special Scientific Interest
If hedgerows are removed without permission, this can result in criminal prosecution and hefty fines.