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For many years removal of countryside hedgerows was encouraged in order to make larger fields for agriculture. This has had a negative effect on many different species of wildlife, and also impacted on the way the countryside looks today. The hedgerows regulations were brought into force to stop this decline and try to encourage the planting of more hedgerows.

Hedgerows

The UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) defines a hedgerow as ‘any boundary or line of trees or shrubs over 20m long and less than 5m wide, and where any gaps between the trees or shrubs species are less than 20m wide. Any bank, wall, ditch or tree within 2m of the centre of the hedgerow is considered to be part of the hedgerow habitat, as is the herbaceous vegetation within 2m of the centre of the hedgerow.

Why are Hedgerows protected?

Hedgerows in the U.K are one of the many features of the countryside which we take for granted. Hedgerows play an important part as boundaries between different fields, wind breaks which prevent crops from being damaged and allow shelter to livestock, and important features for wildlife. Many different species use hedgerows. Birds use hedgerows to shelter and raise their young. Bats use hedgerows to navigate and forage above. Great crested newts use hedgerows to move between different habitat features such as ponds and woodlands.

What do I need to do if my development involves removing a hedgerow?

Before removing or cutting a gap into any hedgerow, lodge a hedgerow removal notice with your local council. The council will then have a number of days to reply to you either to allow the removal of the hedgerow or to refuse it. The hedgerows regulations only apply to important hedges, UES can carry out a hedgerow survey which will tell you whether the hedgerow is classed as important or not. If you remove a section of hedgerow before receiving permission from the council then you may be subject to prosecution under the regulations.

Further information

For further information on hedgerows, their conservation value and legislation issues visit the Hedgelink website listed below.
http://www.hedgelink.org.uk/

Services

Case Studies

Phase 2a for High Speed 2 (HS2)

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December 2016
Site: Phase 2a for High Speed 2 (HS2) - from the West Midlands to Crewe Client: Biocensus c/o Arup ##Project overview In spring 2016 UES were subcontracted ... more...

Protected species surveys in Lydney

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August 2016
Site: Lydney, Gloucestershire Client: MMC Land and Regeneration ##Project overview UES were instructed to carry out ecological surveys on a former golf cours... more...

Phase 1 Habitat Survey in Winchester

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November 2011
UES recently completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of an old mill in Winchester. An Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey involves mapping the habitats on the ... more...

Breeding bird survey in Knutsford, Cheshire

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August 2011
UES have completed a breeding bird survey of a site in Knutsford, Cheshire in order to meet planning conditions. A breeding bird survey involves recording bird ... more...

Extended phase 1 habitat survey in Deeside

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August 2011
UES have completed an extended phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Deeside, North Wales in order to inform the client of any potential impacts their development... more...

National Vegetation Classification survey

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August 2011
UES have recently completed a National Vegetation Classification (NVC) survey of a woodland in Cheshire in order to inform the client of any potential impacts t... more...

Landscape design in Loughton, Essex

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January 2011
UES were commissioned in the winter of 2010 to carry out a Phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Loughton, Essex. The site which is in the grounds of a retirement... more...

Extended phase 1 survey in Lancashire

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January 2011
UES have completed an extended phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Lancashire for Seddon Homes in order to inform the client of any potential impacts their deve... more...

Great crested newt trapping scheme

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November 2010
Project summary In 2008/09, UES were instructed to conduct a Great Crested Newt (GCN) mitigation scheme for Augean PLC at Slipe Clay pits in King’s Cliffe, n... more...

Breeam Habitat Survey in Birmingham

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November 2010
UES were commissioned to provide an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of o high rise office complex near Edgbaston in Birmingham. The Survey is to provide informa... more...

Ecological Surveys near Nantwich in Cheshire

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October 2010
United Environmental Services were commissioned to carry out an Extended Phase 1 Habitat survey, bat surveys, barn owl surveys and to provide advice on any grea... more...

Extended Phase 1 habitat Survey Crewe

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May 2010
United Environmental Services were commissioned to carry out an Extended Phase 1 habitat survey of a farm building and its surrounding habitat Close to Hartingt... more...

Major Pipeline Survey

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January 2010
UES were commissioned by a Northwest based utilities company to carry out survey work for a major pipeline in the north west of England. ##Planning The propo... more...

Tarbock Hall Golf Course

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January 2010
Tarbock Hall is a 86 hectare parcel of land west of Liverpool. The land was used for agriculture until 2000 when it was sold to a team of developers who wanted ... more...