Ryedale District Council


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High hedges

Overgrown trees and hedges can cause problems by blocking out light, overhanging a boundary into a neighbour's garden or over the road or pavement. Useful information is given in the leaflet "Over the garden hedge" produced by GOV.UK


The landowner is responsible for all vegetation growing on their land and, in some circumstances, where vegetation is growing in the roadside verge. North Yorkshire County Council's Highways Department is the responsible authority where trees are causing an obstruction, or a hazard on the roads or pavements and they have powers under the Highways Act to contact the owners and request that the problem be dealt with. Contact the County Council on 01609 780780 and report, as accurately as possible, the location of the problem.


Under common law, you are entitled to cut back to the boundary any branches that are growing over your property. You must offer to return the cut material back to the owner and you should be aware that if the work you do causes the tree or shrub to die, you may be held responsible by the owner, resulting in legal proceedings. If you live in a conservation area, or the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order, you will also need to seek consent from us before beginning any work.


Under Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, it is possible to submit a complaint to us about a high hedge that meets the definition within the Act. The hedge must be evergreen, or semi-evergreen, must comprise of at least two trees or shrubs. It is only the part of the hedge over 2m in height that can be considered. This does not mean that every evergreen hedge has to be cut down to 2 metres in height. There is no fixed height and every case is considered on its merits.

If the Council is asked to step in to assist in any dispute, a fee of £265 is payable. Before contacting the Council, ensure that you have tried all approaches outlined in the leaflet "Over the garden hedge" produced by GOV.UK.

Complaints are dealt with by Tree and Landscape Officer. Please submit an enquiry form for advice and more information.



Contact us

Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House
Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

Email: Contact the Council

Phone: 01653 600666

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