Keeping a hedge of legislation

Extension of the hedge cutting ban to the 31st August will cause some of our clients’ problems when you want to cut hedges prior to planting crops such as oilseed rape or reseeding grassland.  However, you can apply for a derogation from the RPA, but you must apply and receive written approval before you go ahead – and this could take 4 weeks to process!!

If you are affected, we recommend that you email the RPA as soon as possible to ask for a derogation for the relevant fields. You need to email them at

Mark the subject of the email as ‘Cross Compliance’.  Give them your name, address, SBI number, reference number of those fields that you want to cut early, and reason for wanting to cut them early.  You can only apply for those fields where you need early access.

Please note if you get a derogation it will only allow you to cut the side of the hedge in the field you have applied for.

If you have a stewardship obligation which could be breached by cutting a hedge early, you will also have to obtain permission from Natural England.