The farm unions in Wales are to continue lobbying the Welsh Assembly over hedge cutting and laying restrictions under cross-compliance, which differ from those in England.

While England’s farmers are barred from trimming hedges between 1 March and 31 July, producers in Wales have to wait an extra month before they can commence (after 31 August).

The coppicing or layering of hedges is prohibited on farms west of Offa’s Dyke for six months starting on 1 April, but across the border the ban extends for only three months from 1 May.

Rhian Nowell-Phillips, Farmers Union of Wales senior policy officer, said: “We cannot understand why the situation is any different in Wales.

Weather conditions in Wales make it dangerous to shorten the period when hedge cutting is allowed.

It appears that the minister has been influenced by people who put the protection of certain wildlife species above health and safety.”