We're responsible for public hedgerows in York. Public hedgerows may be in:
- rural areas
- parks and open spaces
- verges adjacent to highways
We cut public hedgerows each year in late September or early October, weather dependent.
Before reporting a concern, you should check whether we will be able to help, as there are a number of situations where we can't prune, cut roots or remove hedgerows. See our hedgerows response times.
See details of how we deal with the maintenance of public trees.
You can report concerns with hedgerows and vegetation online, if you feel that the issue is something we can help with.
Our responsibilities for public hedgerows
We can only carry out work to public hedgerows (not private hedges) where there is an identified health and safety issue.
We can't carry out all pruning requests. Unnecessary pruning damages hedgerows leaving them vulnerable to disease.
Report an issue with a public hedgerow which could pose a risk, such as:
- broken, hanging branches causing a hazard
- hedges causing an obstruction to a footpath
- root lifting and ground movement around hedges seen in windy weather
- workers digging under hedges, cutting roots
- residents cutting public hedges without known authorization
Do not report issues with hedges in private gardens or on private land unless there is a risk to a nearby path or road.
See advice relating to private tree and hedge nuisance and disputes.
Our response to hedgerow problems
We aim to respond to requests within 4 working days.
All countryside hedgerows have some protection under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997. This requires landowners to consult with us before removing a hedgerow.
If the hedgerow meets certain criteria then it can be protected (see criteria of an important hedgerow). If hedgerows are removed without this consultation then a fine could be imposed and action will be taken to re-instate the hedge.
In addition, under new agricultural regulations, farmers are required to manage hedges to certain basic standards. This includes not cutting hedges between 1 March and 1 August each year.
Hedges next to residential houses are not covered either by the Hedgerow Regulations or agricultural cross compliance. Evergreen hedges near property windows may be covered to some extent by high hedges regulations.
Apply to remove a hedgerow
Complete the application form to apply to remove a hedgerow. Your hedgerow will then be evaluated to see if it is 'important'. You will be told within 6 weeks if you can remove the hedgerow or if it must be retained.