Hedgerows are important ecological building blocks across our landscapes. They provide habitat, act as wildlife corridors, slow soil erosion and water run-off, support crop pollinators and sequester carbon.
As we replace the EU’s land-based subsidies with our new farming schemes, we also move away from cross compliance regulation. We are improving the way farm regulation works to make it fairer, clearer and more proportionate and effective, while working in partnership with industry to deliver our environmental targets.
Currently, farmers must not remove hedgerows without prior notice given to local planning authorities, must maintain a buffer strip along their hedgerows, and must not cut or trim hedgerows during bird nesting and rearing season.
We want to ensure the regulations work for wildlife, the environment and for farmers. This consultation is seeking your views on the best way to maintain and improve existing protections, as well as our approach to enforcement.