From the 1st June 1997 hedgerows will enjoy the protection of the
Hedgerows Regulations 1997 if long enough, old enough and important
enough. The regulations require a 'hedgerow removal notice' to be
served on the planning authority prior to the removal of a relevant
hedgerow and the authority then has 42 days to respond with a
'hedgerow retention notice'. Essentially the regulations are to
protect hedgerows over 20 metres long, over 30 years old and which
have some archeological, historical or natural significance.
The regulations may, however, be short lived in their present form.
The new government, concerned that the regulations may be too soft,
is setting up a working group consisting of statutory agencies,
local authorities and the main farming and conservation bodies to
review the current position and make recommendations.