Replacing a Hedge with a Fence | Contemporary Garden Blog UK

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Replacing a Hedge with a Fence

hedge and fence together


Hedges are a great boundary for your garden but they are not always the easiest to care for. Garden fence panels provide a low-cost solution to replace a hedge that has seen better days. So, if you are considering replacing your hedge with a fence, read on to find out how.

Can I remove a hedge and replace it with a fence?

Whether you can replace your hedge is completely dependent on your property and garden situation. Here are a few things you need to consider and look out for if you are beginning the process. It's not something that should be done lightly, especially if it is an established hedge.

  • Do you own the property? If you rent your property, you will need permission from your landlord or the council. You could be fined if you replace it without asking.
  • Is the hedge on your property? If the hedge is technically on your neighbours' property, you cannot replace it without their permission. You can check whether a hedge belongs to you or not by viewing the land registry and seeing where your property boundary lies.
  • Are you going to replace it with a taller fence? If you hedge borders your neighbours or the public highway, you cannot erect a fence that is taller than 6ft.
  • Is there nesting birds in the hedge? You need to thoroughly check for nesting birds before uprooting a hedge. It is illegal to disturb birds, their nests and eggs especially if this may result in their death or injury. This is part of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which is the primary legislation that protects animals, plants and habitats in the UK.

How to Replace a Hedge with Fence Panels

Each and every fence build will be different, so ensure you fully plan the project before uprooting any hedges. If you are getting the fence installed by another company, get them to survey the area beforehand and talk about any concerns. Any professional garden fencing company will be able to provide you with knowledgeable advice on the best approach.

Removing the whole hedge

It's going to be a big job if you are going to remove the whole hedge and replace it with a fence. Even if it's a relatively small boundary, established hedges can have deep roots and can be difficult to remove. You will need garden equipment such as shovels, forks and spades, and in some cases a mechanical digger to remove large and stubborn plants. If you are replacing the entire boundary hedge, you will have to build a fence from scratch which can be quite an undertaking. Read our comprehensive guide on how to build a fence.

Replacing a section

In some cases, you may just want to replace a section of a hedge. This could be because it will provide easier access coupled with a gate. Or that part of the hedge is damaged or dying. Whatever the case, there is slightly more skill required in uprooting just one section. It's best to find out where the main root and trunks are for the hedge and decide which part to remove. If you remove the wrong section you may end up with gaps or a dead hedge next to your new beautiful garden fence panels.

Our garden fence panels are 1800mm wide so you will want to look to create an opening for each panel you want to install, with additional space for posts and supports. To install you may need to make the space bigger and allow the edges of the hedge to grow over time to meet up with the sides. This is something to consider if you are just having a partial removal.

Fence panels against hedge

Some people like the look and protection a hedge and fence panel combo provides. You may like this option to provide extra privacy if your hedge is patchy or does not have a tight formation. It can also be an excellent option to dog-proof your space. Furthermore, by leaving the hedge in place, you will be encouraging wildlife to remain in your garden. You can install a fence on the outer or inner of the hedge, but you will need to make sure there is enough room to install supports. This arrangement can be a little more complicated, so discuss with an experienced fencing installation company to get the best results.

Benefits of A Fence over a Hedge

Having garden fence panels rather than a hedge has a number of benefits, including:

Buy Garden Fencing Panels

If you are ready to swap your hedge for a fence or pair it with fence panels, then check out our selection of stunning garden fencing. We provide contemporary garden fencing which is made in our workshop in Sheffield, UK, using sustainable FSC certified timber sourced from the UK. If you have any questions or need help deciding on the best way to replace your hedge, get in touch with one of the team.