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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 224782, tabled on 20 February 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent representations she has received from farmers affected by the ban on grass cutting and oil seed rape in August seeking a derogation from hedge cutting provisions.

Answered on

26 February 2015

In line with the Common Agricultural Policy regulations, there is a ban on cutting hedges to protect birds during the breeding and rearing season. In England this is 1st March to 31st August inclusive. Defra consulted farming and other interested stakeholders on the cutting ban, and subsequently introduced a derogation that enables hedges to be cut in a field during August if oil seed rape or temporary grass is sown in that field.

Since July 2014, Defra has received 20 representations regarding the hedgerow derogation.