Misc Building and Agricultural Regulations – traditional field boundaries re: Stone walls

Garden Walls

Fences, walls and gates do not require building regulation approval. Walls may be subject to rules within a conservation area

Although building regulations do not apply, the structures must be structurally sound and maintained. See link (Welsh Government)

Dry stone walls – Agricultural farming boundaries

“traditional field boundaries” means structures such as hedges, stone walls, earth banks and slate fences customarily used to create separate fields within a farm;”

Land in Care Scheme (Tir Gofal) (Wales) Regulations 1999 – outlines capital allowance £/m

Welsh Regulations: https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2021-05/glastir-small-grants-landscape-and-pollinators-capital-works-technical-guidance-booklet-2021.pdf

Glastir Welsh Grants regulation: https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2018-01/glastir-small-grants-scheme-rules.pdf

Glastir grants: https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2019-03/glastir-small-grants-landscape-and-pollinators-option-payment-rates-2019.pdf

Welsh government regulations – Landscape features: https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2020-12/cross-compliance-landscape-features-gaec-7-2021.pdf

Rural Payments Agency – Natural England 2020 – BN12: Stone wall restoration + schedules

Stone walls of all types are important as landscape features and for stock management. Dry stone walls are walls made without the use of mortar or cement [although mortar may be used at the top of the wall to secure coping stones where this has been used traditionally].

If you have dry stone walls on your land [including small holdings], you should:

  • check their condition at least once a year
  • remove any vegetation to help to ‘air’ the wall and prevent frost damage
  • use local stone to make any repairs
  • prevent trees from growing alongside, as their roots can weaken wall foundations
  • You must not remove a dry stone wall, or remove stone from it, except in special cases.

(UK Gov – Protecting rural landscapes and features)

Hegerows and walls – Hedgerows Regulation1997 [Clawdd]

3.5 Stone walls are not covered by the regulations unless, as for example is common in the south west of England and some parts of Wales, land supporting the hedgerow consists of an earth and/or stone bank with the hedgerow growing along the top.[Clawdd]

n.b. Removal of a hedgerow (20m long) may incur a fine of £5,000 and local planning authority can require replacement.

Post Brexit and the future

Wales

Many of the subsidies and regulations relating to Dry Stone Walls, Hedging and Forestry will remain the same or similar post-Brexit. However this is still subject to confirmation by Welsh Government legislation expected in Spring 2021. A white paper was published by the Welsh Government December 2020 and put out for consultation through March 2021.

England

Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) Scheme is one element of the Environmental Stewardship Scheme, managed by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) (in succession to Natural England) as part of the Rural Development Programme for England…