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Your Borough Of Poole

High Hedges

  • Definition of a hedge
  • Over the garden hedge
  • Planting a new hedge

  • The wrong hedge - what to do about it

  • Complaining to us

  • Useful contacts 

Definition of a hedge

The legal definition of a hedge can be found in Part 8 Section 66 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003.

Generally a line of two or more evergreens rising to a height of more than two metres above ground level constitute a hedge.

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Over the garden hedge

A hedge can be cheap to create and last for a long time. It can help bring wildlife into your garden; and its flowers, berries and leaves can add colour.

The right hedge can be an ideal garden boundary but the wrong hedge may bring problems.

A hedge outside your property can be a hazard to other people.

The leaflet 'Over the garden hedge' issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government offers guidance to help you agree what is right for you and your neighbours.

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Planting a new hedge

If you are planting a new hedge, the leaflet 'The right hedge for you'  can help you choose what is best for you and your garden.

You don't normally need permission to plant a hedge in your garden. And there are no laws that say how high you can grow your hedge. But you are responsible for looking after any hedge on your property and for making sure it is not a nuisance to anyone else. This means trimming the hedge regularly, both its top and all sides.

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The wrong hedge - and what to do about it

Problems can occur if a hedge is allowed to grow unchecked. If you are troubled by someone else's hedge, the best way to deal with the issue is to talk to them about it. It is in both your interests to try and sort things out. After all, you have to continue to live near each other and so it is better if you are on good terms.

Calling in ourselves or going to court might make matters worse.

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Complaining to us

Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 grants powers to us to deal with your complaint. You will have to pay us for this service. The fee has been set at £350.  

Involving us should be a last resort if you really can't agree a solution. We can refuse to intervene if we think you haven't done everything you reasonably could to settle your dispute.

The leaflet 'High hedges: complaining to the Council' explains the procedure for making a complaint when all other means of settling your hedge dispute have been exhausted.

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Useful contacts

  • Arboricultural Association for a list of approved contractors to carry out work on trees and hedges. tel:01794 368717
  • Citizens Advice Bureaux - offer free, confidential, impartial and independent advice.
  • Community Legal Service (CLS) - helps people to find the right legal advice. There are CLS Information Points in local libraries or telephone 0845 345 4 345 for your nearest Community Legal Service provider.
  • Gardening Which? Helps its members with their gardening problems 0845 903 7000
  • Hedgeline - help those affected by problem hedges, drawing on the experience of their members 0870 2400 627
  • Mediation Dorset - a voluntary charity that provides a high quality conflict resolution service for the people of Dorset where all parties agree to mediation.
  • Royal Horticultural Society - help its members with their specific gardening problems. 01483 479700

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Related pages

Report High Hedge

Anti-Social Behaviour

Environmental Health


Contact us

Environmental Services
Unit 1
Newfields Business Park
2 Stinsford Road
BH17 0NF

01202 261700

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18001 01202 261700