The 8 gardening laws you don’t know you are breaking, according to experts & why you should be wary when trimming trees | The Sun

MANY people see their garden as their pride and joy – but you could be breaking the law without realising it with your outdoor space.

From putting down decking, to trimming your garden bushes, many Brits could be facing fines up to £30,000 just by breaking basic gardening laws.  

Garden building expert Sam Jenkinson from Tiger has shared eight common garden laws that Brits could be breaking unknowingly.

Here’s what you should know about…

1. A shed too high  

In the UK a shed can’t cover more than 50 per cent of your garden or be higher than 2.5 metres if it’s within two metres of your property’s boundary without planning permission. 

If you do want to build a shed that is taller than 2.5 metres, you will need to apply for planning permission from your local council, if you don’t you could risk being forced to remove your shed or garden building.  

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If you’re unsure about if your garden building fits the height requirements, speak to your shed manufacturer as many companies make reduced height versions of their designs if needed.

2. Decking too high 

If you have decking that is higher than 30cm or decking that covers more than 50 per cent of your garden without planning permission, you could be fined. 

There are many things that can impact a council’s decision to grant permission for decking such as the size and location, impact on surrounding area, and whether it complies with local planning policies.  

3. Sleeping in your garden building  

If you’re using your garden building for regular and frequent overnight accommodation (especially if you are charging for it) without planning permission, your local council may not take too kindly to it. 

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The odd friend sleeping over on an informal, more occasional basis is less of an issue, but if you want to use your garden building as a permanent guest room, you need to check building regulations and get planning permission. 

4. Planting invasive species  

In the UK, there are many invasive plants that you can be fined for if you let them spread.

Japanese Knotweed is one of the most invasive and will need professional removal if growing in your garden. 

It has bamboo-like stems and produces clusters of small white flowers.

The plant grows and spreads rapidly and can cause significant damage to property and infrastructure.

Fines for Japanese Knotweed can reach up to £34,000.

5. Trimming branches  

When it comes to trimming overhanging branches, only cut them up to the property line. 

If you lean into your neighbour’s garden and trim the trees and bushes, this may be considered trespassing, so it’s always best to check with your neighbours first. 

As well as this, it’s important to remember that if a tree is covered by a Tree Preservation Order, you can’t cut the branches, so always speak to your neighbour first. 

6. Blocking light  

Under the Rights of Light Act, if a window has received natural light for 20 years or more, neighbours can't block it with a new tree. 

If you did want to plant a new tree, consider placing it in a new corner of the garden or opting for something smaller. 

7. High hedges 

Under Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, homeowners are responsible for maintaining their hedges. 

If a neighbour complains to the local authority and they find that the hedges are negatively affecting the complainant's enjoyment of their property, the local authority can issue a formal notice and even a fine of up to £1,000. 

8. Watering your garden in a hosepipe ban 

A hosepipe ban limits outdoor water usage and is typically put in place during the hotter months of the year. 

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A hosepipe ban is outlined in section 36 of the Flood and Water Management Act of 2010.

If a person is found breaking the ban, they can be fined up to £1,000.  

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