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Hedge and shrub maintenance

Use this page to find out more about our hedge maintenance policy, our cutting schedules and how our policy benefits wildlife and biodiversity.

Our hedge and shrub cutting frequencies

We cut most of our hedges and shrubs once a year between November and February. However, where possible, we have reduced the cutting frequency to once every 2 or 3 years to protect wildlife habitats and biodiversity.

You can find out how often a hedge or shrub is scheduled to be cut by viewing our grounds maintenance maps. Please note these schedules may be affected by weather conditions.

See our hedge cutting schedules on a map

Report an obstruction

To report overhanging vegetation that is obstructing a highway, please visit FixMyStreet.

Tackling the climate and ecological emergency

Hedges and shrubs help to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. However many of the UK’s hedgerows have been lost or are poorly managed.

Benefits to wildlife

Hedges and shrubs produce blossom, berries and dense vegetation which is good for wildlife as this provides food and shelter for insects, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. They also provide flowers for pollinators.

Bramble and ivy can often develop. These plants are very important for wildlife and can help to improve the wildlife value of hedges and shrubs. 

Hedges act as green highways that wildlife can use to travel through our busy urban areas, and they provide living boundaries between gardens that wildlife can easily pass through.

Benefits to the environment

Hedges and shrubs improve air quality and can reduce noise pollution. They slow down and absorb the flow of rainwater which can reduce the risk of flooding, and they help to cool down our urban areas during heat waves. Storms and heat waves are likely to become more frequent and severe due to climate change.

Cutting hedges and shrubs less often

Cutting hedges and shrubs less often gives plants a chance to flower and produce berries, and also provides more shelter for wildlife. It also reduces air and noise pollution from hedge cutting equipment and reduces the amount of fuel that is burned. It is best to cut them once every 3 to 5 years as this produces significantly more blossom and berries.

Large areas of hedges and shrubs may benefit from being cut in stages so that there is always plenty of shelter left for wildlife.

Cutting hedges and shrubs at the right time

It is best to cut hedges and shrubs in late Autumn or Winter after they have flowered and produced berries. This also reduces the likelihood of disturbing the site of a nesting bird.

Bird nesting season is from 1 March to 31 August. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is illegal to disturb the site of a nesting bird.

How you can get involved

If you maintain a hedge or shrubs, you can follow the guidance above to help support our wildlife and create greener, cleaner and more peaceful places to live.

To find out more about our projects and how you can help to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies, visit our park projects and Climate Emergency pages. 

For more information on actions you can take to help wildlife, please visit the Wildlife Trusts website.