Devon field boundaries: restoration standards for agri-environment schemes (TIN039)

Statutory designations

Felling Licence

Before beginning work on hedges you should consider whether you will need a Felling Licence. A Licence is required when more than five cubic metres (about five tons) are to be felled for domestic use, and where two cubic metres are to be felled for commercial use, within one calendar quarter. One cubic metre is roughly the same as an average pick-up load of logs.

Remember that the regular laying or coppicing of hedges does not normally require a Felling Licence, but when neglected or mature hedges are being restored a Licence may be required.

A Felling Licence is free and can be obtained from the Forestry Commission. They can be contacted on: 01626 890666.

Tree Preservation Orders

Care must be taken as individual trees on hedge banks or old hedges that have become a line of trees, may be subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). You can find out more about this from your local planning authority.

Hedgerow Regulations

Regulations for the protection of hedgerows came into force in 1997. In brief, it is against the law to remove most hedgerows without permission. To apply for permission you must write to your local planning authority giving them plenty of notice of your plans. Hedgerows removed without permission may incur an unlimited fine and the hedge may have to be replaced.

Please also remember that hedge removal is prohibited under any agri-environment scheme.

Public Rights of Way

Where work is to be carried out on or adjacent to a Public Right of Way, you must not obstruct or damage the path during work. Gates or stiles for public access must be retained. As a precaution, warning signs must be erected in potentially hazardous situations to warn people of work in progress.

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