Hedgecutting derogation in England – still time to apply

There is just still time to apply for a derogation from the hedgecutting ban in England on land where oilseed rape or temporary grass will be drilled in August.

Farmers must apply individually to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) for a written derogation from the cross-compliance rules which prevent the cutting or trimming of hedgerows until 1 September in order to protect birdlife.

See also: Guide to key cross-compliance and greening dates by region

The derogation allows cutting or trimming of hedges from 1 August on land being used to drill OSR or temporary grassland in that month.

The application process is straightforward, says farm consultant Robert Gazely of Strutt & Parker:

  • Email the RPA with details of the land parcels for which the derogation is needed
  • Provide name, address and single business identifier number
  • The subject line of the email should be marked “Cross-compliance derogation”.

“In our experience, the RPA usually comes back with written confirmation of the derogation within two or three weeks.

“Growers need to wait until they have written permission before carrying out any work, or they could face BPS penalties.”

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