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Do the hedgerow regulations conserve the biodiversity of British hedgerows?

International Journal ofBiosciences and the Law, Vol. 2, pp.67 - 90


The issue of hedgerows as integral parts of the countryside came to the fore as the rate of their removal increased dramatically from the 1940s onwards. Hedgerow Regulations were introduced for the first time in 1997 and gave limited protection to those hedgerows in England and Wales that were classed as 'important. However, right from the start controversy has raged over the effectiveness of these Regulations. This article concentrates on the use of criteria linked to biodiversity in identifying hedges as being 'important'. Among the remaining problems for using biodiversity in this way are the need to make decisions that relate to the number of species that must be present, the choice of the permitted species, the time allowed for consultation by the local authorities, and the mechanism for consultation. A recent review of the effectiveness of the present Regulations is being considered by the Government who may yet decide to bring in new Regulations or even primary legislation. The Regulations and their problems are discussed here together with an assessment of the recent review.

Author(s): Thomas, B.A.

Journal: International Journal ofBiosciences and the Law, Vol. 2, pp.67 - 90

Year: 2000


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