If you have exhausted all other avenues for resolving a hedge dispute you can take your complaint to us.
We don't mediate or negotiate between the complainant and the hedge owner. We judge whether the hedge is adversely affecting the complainant's enjoyment of their property.
Issuing a notice
If we find it necessary, we will issue a formal notice to the hedge owner which will set out what they must do to the hedge to remedy the problem. Failure to carry out the works is an offence which could lead to a fine of up to £1,000. We also have the power to enter the hedge owner’s property and undertake the required work if they fail to comply with the formal notice. We are also legally entitled to recover the cost of undertaking such works from the hedge owner.
You can obtain further information and guidance leaflets from the Central Government High Hedges Legislation website. This includes guidance for how to make a formal application to have your high hedge complaint determined by us.
Requesting we intervene in a dispute is chargeable. We have been instructed by government to agree the fee locally for applications. Our fee for registering a complaint has been agreed at £648.40 for each complaint.
Most high hedge disputes arise where there has been a breakdown in communication between the hedgeowner and adjoining neighbour/s. We encourage residents to try and resolve the matter between themselves. Many people are unsure how to approach the hedgeowner in such circumstances. We advise residents to follow the guidance in the Government Leaflet 'Over the Garden Hedge'. For more difficult situations, you may wish to consider mediation as a way of trying to resolve the matter. More details can be found on our mediation page.
You may also find The Tree Advice Trust useful, as they provide a ‘Tree Helpline’. This is a live service and gives direct access to an experienced arboriculturist. The Tree Advice Trust helpline staff can also act as arbiters in cases where an impasse has been reached. Telephone 09065 161147 - premium rate, £1.50 per minute - the average call lasts 3 minutes.
Contact the Council Tree and Landscape Team
You can also contact the Trees and Landscape Team at Wokingham Borough Council by calling 0118 974 6464/ 6767.