The regulations concerning countryside hedgerow are complex, and if you remove a hedgerow without permission, you may face an unlimited fine and may also have to replace the hedgerow. If you intend to remove an agricultural hedgerow, you must notify Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) before carrying out the work.

You can do this by making an electronic application via the Planning Portal website (see 'Internet Links'). Alternatively, you can download a 'Hedgerow Removal Notice' - application form (see 'Internet Links') and send it to MVDC's Pippbrook offices, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1SJ, or by emailing it as an attachment to planning@molevalley.gov.uk. Two documents - 'Check List' and 'Help' - are also available for reference (see 'Internet Links').

Once your notice and application has been received, MVDC has six weeks to survey the hedgerow and decide whether it is categorised as 'important'. The criteria in the legislation classify 'important' hedgerows as being more than 30 years old and having a particular archaeological, historical, wildlife or landscape value. If it applies, MVDC may issue a hedgerow retention notice preventing you from removing it.

For more information please call 01306 885001 or email planning@molevalley.gov.uk.