Just a little reminder that the restrictions on tree and hedge-cutting are in place between 1st March and 31st August. There are some limited circumstances where cutting or trimming are allowed, but these are predominantly related to highway safety. If you’re a Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claimant you must adhere to the requirements or you risk a reduction in your payment.  

You can however, apply to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) in writing for a derogation under the following circumstances:  

  • to enhance the environment, improve public or agricultural access, or for reasons relating to livestock or crop production;
  • to cut or trim a tree in a hedgerow during the month of August for the purposes of sowing oil seed rape or temporary grassland during the same August

Written permission must be received before carrying out any work.  You can contact the RPA via email, (ruralpayments@defra.gsi.gov.uk) or by post (Rural Payments Agency, PO Box 52 Worksop, S80 9FG).  It would be a good idea to mark any correspondence, ‘cross compliance derogation’.  

If you want to remove a section of hedgerow completely at any time of the year, you will need consent from your local authority. This procedure operates in a similar way to planning permission and there is a specific form that needs to be filled in. Once you have notified your local authority, they have 42 days to respond, otherwise it is deemed that you have consent and can proceed. 

For more information on any of these issues, please refer to the 2018 Cross Compliance rules:  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/668684/Cross_Compliance_2018_guide_v1.0.pdf) 

If you would like further advice or wish to apply to remove a hedgerow or for a derogation, please contact Charles on 01684 325215 or 07814 033449.