New hedgerow regulations: what you need to know


The new Management of Hedgerows (England) Regulations 2024 have officially become law, promising to enhance the protection and management of hedgerows across England. Here's what you need to know:

Key regulations

  • Buffer Strips: A 2-metre buffer strip must be maintained around hedgerows, free from cultivation, pesticides, and fertilisers.
  • Cutting Ban: Hedgerow cutting is prohibited from 1 March to 31 August to protect nesting birds.

Support for farmers

These regulations align with existing environmental schemes, making compliance straightforward for many. Over 20,000 agreements already support the management of 60,000 miles of hedgerows in England.

Enforcement and guidance

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will enforce these regulations, focusing on advice-led approaches and reserving stronger actions for severe cases. Public consultations will shape future implementation and enforcement strategies.

Get involved

Farmers and land managers can find out how to get involved in hedegrow management here.

Why it matters

Hedgerows are vital for biodiversity, acting as wildlife corridors and supporting numerous species. These regulations ensure consistent and effective hedgerow management across the country, contributing to environmental sustainability.

For detailed guidance, visit the buffer strip guidance and cutting and trimming guidance on GOV.UK.

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at 7:58 on 05/06/2024 by David Wyatt

More interference from people that don’t actually know what to do 🤔 1st of march or the 31st of August which is best do you know and why 🤔ask 10 people get 10 different answers 🤔stop interfering with what farmers generally do well


at 21:07 on 04/06/2024 by Jane Bolton

Does this new regulation of cutting apply to farmers only or to the local highways authorities who also trim hedgerows and kill weeds on pavements and roadsides using pesticides?


at 17:10 on 04/06/2024 by William fitch

Cutting hedges in August is ridiculous. That destroys all the berries which help birds through winter. First two weeks in January should be the window, and then only when necessary. Every other year would make more sense. As for a buffer strip not much use if they keep hacking it down every 5 minutes. The stewardship scheme is a joke and just gets abused. I have written and sent photos to defra regarding the matter they just ignore me, same with the roadside verges why keep hacking them down? Apart from junctions bends and any other obvious dangerous spots the majority should be left. The idiot's where I live even cut the footpaths.

New Hedgerows

at 16:38 on 04/06/2024 by Graham Hull

New Hedgerows are an amazing source of natural diversity and shelter but please try and use biodegradable guards to reduce plastic use in our countryside. Thank you Graham

Hedgerow cutting

at 9:28 on 24/05/2024 by Stuart Brown

For more info on this subject, see the butterfly conservation website. To aid our important pollinators, it's recommended to leave hedgerow cutting until later on in the winter months and cut a maximum of once in 3 years, preferably once in 5

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