In 1997 regulations came into force to protect important hedgerows, in particular hedgerows which are more than 20 metres long or which meet another hedgerow at either end. It should be noted that garden hedges are not affected. Under the Hedgerows Regulations 1997 it is now against the law to remove most countryside hedgerows without permission. To get permission to remove a hedgerow you must notify the local planning authority. If the authority decide to prohibit the removal of an important hedgerow it must let you know within six weeks.
If you remove a hedgerow without permission you may face an unlimited fine and you may also have to replace the hedgerow