HedgesWho should I contact regarding a hedge, which is obstructing a pavement, road, streetlight or road sign?

Report a hedge causing an obstruction here

What can I do if I have a problem with my neighbour's hedge?

If you have a dispute with a neighbour about the height of a hedge, we have powers to intervene, but this should only be as a last resort after you've done everything possible to reach an agreement between yourselves. You will also be required to provide evidence of your attempts at a private resolution.

If you've tried to resolve the dispute yourself, and can answer 'yes' to all these questions, we'll consider your complaint:

  • Is the hedge growing on land owned by your neighbour?
  • Is it made up of a line of two or more trees or shrubs?
  • Is it mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen?
  • Does it block access, views or light, even though there might be gaps in the foliage?

The Council will not normally get involved in disputes over high hedges. If they do, the non-refundable charge for this service will be £500 for the first complaint and £200 for each repeat complaint related to the same notice. 

To help people resolve high hedge disputes amicably the Dept for Communities and Local Government has produced a leaflet, called

"Over the Garden Hedge" (PDF 1MB).

My neighbour's trees encroach over my boundary, can I cut them back?

Your Common Law rights allow you to remove branches that cross over your boundary without the need to seek your neighbour's permission. Notifying your neighbour of your intentions is always advisable. However, you must not cross the boundary to do so.

For example, leaning a ladder over the boundary to rest against the trunk of the tree could be classed as trespass. You should not dispose of the branches or any other waste material from the tree over your fence into your neighbour's garden, but first ask your neighbour if they wish to have the material returned to them. If they don't want it, it will be your responsibility to dispose of it.

If a tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order, or because it is located within a Conservation Area, the Common Law right is removed and you will need to seek formal permission from the Council before undertaking work to living parts of the tree.

Useful websites

For more government information about high hedges, trees and boundaries visit Resolving neighbour disputes website.

For more information about trees and hedges from the Planning Portal website.

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