Following the end of cross compliance, Defra consulted on new hedgerow regulations.  These have now been passed by Parliament.  The Management of Hedgerows (England) Regulations 2024 provides a consistent approach for their protection across the country. This includes:

  • a 2-metre buffer strip, measured from the centre of a hedgerow, where a green cover must be established and maintained. Also, no cultivation or the application of pesticides or fertilisers should take place within this buffer strip
  • a hedgerow cutting ban from 1 March to 31 August (inclusive). 

These practices are subject to exceptions broadly mirroring the previous approach under cross compliance.  Read more on this page.