Protecting rural landscapes and features

Hedgerows and watercourses

If you own land with hedgerows or watercourses, you must do everything you reasonably can to keep green cover (natural vegetation) on land:

  • within 2 metres of the centre of a hedgerow, watercourse or field ditch
  • within 1 metre of the top of the bank of a watercourse or field ditch

It’s against the law to remove or destroy certain hedgerows without permission from your local planning authority.

You must also make sure you do not:

  • cultivate or apply fertilisers or pesticides on these strips of green cover
  • cut or trim hedgerows between 1 March and 31 August

Find more information on hedgerow protection and management.