Hedges and Ditches

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 13th July 2020.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of amending The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 to strengthen protections for mature hedgerows of less than 30 years of age.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 a hedgerow is deemed ‘important’, and is protected, if it is at least 30 years old. Although there is local variation, research has indicated that, nationally, over 70% of hedgerows in England and Wales are 'important' according to the criteria in the Regulations.

The Regulations therefore play a valuable role in providing statutory protection for a large proportion of hedgerows in the countryside, with the risk of removal now extremely low compared with when the Regulations came into effect. We consider that the current level of statutory protection remains appropriate and have no plans to amend the Regulations.

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