A quick growing leylandii hedge needs to be maintained. Without annual maintenance they can soon become a problem.
Leylandii hedges grow to excessive heights and require regular attention in order to conform to the High Hedges Act.
Call John Whitworth Tree Surgery, we’ll take control of unruly Leylandii hedges, bring them back into shape and let the light return to your, and your neighbour’s gardens.
High Hedges Law: Fact & fiction
There are a few common misconceptions regarding the high hedges law, some of which are explained below.
What the law can do:
- It can override Tree Preservation Orders (TPO), although these should be considered when the complaint is evaluated
- It may be decided that a hedge needs to be cut back in stages (e.g. over a period of two years to minimise the risk of killing the hedge)
What the law can’t do:
- It cannot require the complete removal of any hedge
- Instruct work that would result in the death of a hedge is not permitted
- The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it an offence to destroy any bird’s nest that is either in use or being built. The period given for cutting should take into account that, where birds are nesting in a hedge, work should not be carried out between March to August
- Require homeowners to apply for permission to grow a hedge above 2m (6½ft)
- If a hedge grows over 2m, the local authority cannot automatically take action, unless a justifiable complaint is made
- The law can not be used as a preventative measure – i.e. the hedge must already be above 2m tall and impairing reasonable enjoyment
What are high hedges?
The term ‘high hedges’ was defined by the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003: Part 8 in 2005. In summary, what constitutes a high hedge under the law:
- A hedge more than 2m (approx 6½ft) tall on even ground (there is extra guidance for hedge heights on slopes)
- A hedge is defined as a line of two or more trees or shrubs
- The hedge is formed wholly or predominantly of evergreens or semi-evergreen.
- Bamboo and ivy are not included
How much will the hedge be cut back by?
Even though the law states a high hedge being more than 2m tall, this may not necessarily be the height to which a hedge is reduced – final hedge height will be decided by a local council based on the requirements and information provided by both the complainant and hedge owner. The following issues can be taken into consideration:
- The hedge blocks too much light to a neighbour’s house or garden – legislation does not however guarantee access to uninterrupted light
- The hedge is on a slope and therefore arguably more overbearing
- The hedge blocks a view. This is a valid complaint but is unlikely to be enough to justify action alone