Skip to Main Content

Hedges are a line of woody species that may include trees that form a boundary between two parcels of land. Agricultural hedgerows are an integral feature of the Monmouthshire landscape in terms of their visual appeal, historic or cultural value and their importance for biodiversity. As part of the county’s commitment to biodiversity and being bee-friendly, the county council endeavours to manage its own hedges in accordance with the Hedgerow Manifesto:

Protection of Hedges

Most farmland hedges in Monmouthshire are protected under the Hedgerows Regulations 1997. The Regulations contain a set of criteria for determining whether a hedgerow is important. For more details, please contact our Tree Officer in Planning.

Hedgerow enquiries

The majority of enquiries to the county council about hedges relate to roadside hedges. The majority of roadside hedges and hedgerow trees are not owned by Monmouthshire County Council but by the adjacent landowner. Landowners have the responsibility to maintain their hedges and prevent them from affecting the safe use of the public highway. Where roadside hedges are immediately next to the public highway (where there is no grass verge), the county council employ contractors to carry out a one metre high flail cut to the base of the hedge to remove annual growth regardless of ownership. Issues arising with roadside hedges that require additional work are the responsibility of the landowner. The county council’s highways department will serve notices on landowners (including farmers and private households) where hedges are deemed to affect the safety of the highway.

What if I want to remove part or all of a hedgerow? 

A formal planning application is required to remove a protected hedgerow. A form is available with guidance notes. Except where significant safety issues are present, by law, hedges can only be cut outside the bird nesting season. Therefore, hedge cutting is normally carried out from late summer.

What if I remove a hedgerow without applying for planning permission? 

The Regulations state that if you remove a protected hedge without first applying to do so then the hedge is automatically deemed to be important whether it was or not. You may be heavily fined in a Magistrate’s court and/or have a Hedgerow Replacement Notice served upon you, requiring that the hedge be replanted.

High hedges

The legislation referring to high hedges is found in Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. Further information can be found in the leaflet High hedges: Complaining to the Council. A link to the leaflet is found here.

The role of the local authority is not to mediate or negotiate between the complainant and the hedge owner but to adjudicate on whether the hedge is adversely affecting the complainant’s reasonable enjoyment of their property. In doing so, the authority must take account of all relevant factors and must strike a balance between the competing interests of both parties, and as well as the interests of the wider community. If we consider the circumstances justify it, we will issue a formal notice to the hedge owner which will set out what they must do to the hedge to remedy the problem, and by when. Failure to carry out the works required by the authority is an offence which, on prosecution, could lead to a fine of up to £1,000.

Please note that this service is a discretionary, therefore, coming to the Council to resolve your hedge problem should be treated as very much a last resort. You must be able to demonstrate to us that you have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving your hedge dispute. If you fail to demonstrate this, we have the right not accept your case. Some useful information on how to approach your neighbour and discuss your concerns can be found in the advisory leaflet Over the Garden Hedge which you may download here.

If we do accept your case, you will be required to pay a non-returnable fee of Â£320 for this service.

How do I make a complaint? 

If you have exhausted all other avenues and still have a problem with a neighbour’s high hedge then contact the Tree Officer (Planning) or complete the application form.


  • The legislation does not require all hedges to be cut down to a height of two metres.
  • You do not have to obtain permission to grow your hedge above two metres.
  • When a hedge grows over two metres, we do not automatically take action unless a justifiable complaint is made.
  • If we do accept your complaint as valid it does not follow automatically that we will order your neighbour to reduce the height of the hedge. We have to weigh up all the issues and consider each case within the guidelines available to us.