Overgrown trees and hedges

Overgrown trees and hedges can cause problems by blocking out light, or overhanging a boundary into a neighbour's garden, or over the road or pavement.

Trees by a highway

The landowner is responsible for all vegetation growing on their land and, in some circumstances, where vegetation is growing in the roadside verge. Cumbria 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.

To report a problem with trees by a highway, you will need to report the location of the trees as accurately as possible by telephoning the Highways Hotline 0300 303 2992.

Trees overhanging your garden

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.

High hedges

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 2 metres 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.

To complain about high hedges contact Development Management.

For details of the law, and how to complain, see High Hedges on GOV.UK.

Also see Hedgerow Removal Notice.

Last updated: Wednesday, 20 April, 2022.