Fines for hedge vandals

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The Independent Online
New laws to protect historic and wildlife-rich hedgerows in England and Wales were belatedly published in draft form yesterday - six years after they were first proposed by government.

Landowners will have to notify their local council before stripping out any hedge more than 20m long. Disobedient landowners could face a fine of pounds 5,000 by magistrates, or an unlimited fine if the offence is serious enough to go to a Crown Court. Nicholas Schoon

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