Help us achieve our goals:
make a donation »
Join the RHS today and
support our charity
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Make a donation
Join the RHS today and support our charity
I have forgotten my password
Keep me signed in
Register for free to receive our newsletters, add comments to blogs/articles and to save content.
Tall hedges can be a nuisance, especially where neighbours can’t agree on a suitable height amicably. However, legislation now gives people whose gardens are overshadowed the opportunity to resolve the problem with the help of the local council.
High hedges are taller than 2m (6½ft)High hedges are predominantly evergreenBamboo and ivy are not includedTry negotiation before using the law
The term ‘high hedges’ was subjective until it was defined by the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003: Part 8 in 2005. This is a summary of what constitutes a high hedge under the law:
The high hedges legislation has been designed so that the general public is able to use it without the need to involve lawyers. This would be a simple sequence of events:
For more information on the complaints procedure, see the Communities and Local Goverment website: guidance on high hedges legislation.
Although the law states that a high hedge is more than 2m (approx 6½ft) tall, this is not necessarily the height to which a hedge is reduced. The final height will be decided by your local council based on the requirements and information provided by the complainant and hedge owner. For example, the following issues can be taken into consideration:
There are guidelines (not mandatory) in the government’s Hedge height and light loss.
There are some common misconceptions about the high hedges law, some of which are explained below.
What the law can do:
What the law can’t do:
The advice provided here is just a quick guide. There is considerably more detailed information available from the Communities and Local Government’s website. They have produced a series of booklets detailing how to complain and respond to complaints. These are available by post or can be downloaded free from their website and include the following titles:
You can also contact your local council.
Hedges: selectionHedges: plantingHedges: pruning times
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
Register for the site or sign in to share your experiences on this topic and seek advice from our community of gardeners.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9