Hedgerows: Protection and Management

We understand that some people upset over the slight overgrowth of trees, hedges, and shrubs, and you want us, the Town Council, to do something about it and cut it down to size, but there are reasons as to why we cannot do this. These include but are not limited to The Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 and The Greener Trowbridge Strategy.

The Wildlife and Country Act of 1981 is, as the name may hint at, about the wildlife. Because of this act, we are not allowed to touch any hedges, shrubs, or trees between the 1st of March up to the 31st of August. There are also key factors which would determine whether a hedgerow is protected or not. The most important one to us is that it is on common land.

You, yourself, can only apply to remove the hedgerow if:

  • it’s less than 30 years old
  • you’re the owner, tenant or manager of the hedgerow
  • you’re a utility company that’s eligible to remove it

and it does not interfere with any of the other conditions. If you do wish to remove a hedgerow, you must commune with Wiltshire Council.

For more detailed information regarding the legislation, visit here

The Greener Trowbridge Strategy was put in place to allow trees and woodlands to help reduce the effects of pollution and help our community reduce their carbon footprint. The flora is an essential part of our town as it provides a suitable habitat for a range of species, enabling a rich diversity of wildlife to live and survive, and enabling people to experience and engage with the natural environment. Not to mention, we rely on the flora just as much as the local wildlife does.

Another reason is that we have to honor the legislation given to us by the rule’. But as with anything, there is a certain exception to the rule: The Highways Act of 1980. To simplify this, if a tree, hedge, or shrub obstructs the safe passage of pedestrians or vehicles, it will be cut back. This also includes if the obstruction interferes with the view of a driver of a vehicle or the light of a public lamp; it will be cut back.

But we do not tend to trees, hedges, or shrubs that are on privately owned land or property. This includes rented properties from public authorities or private landlords.

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