On March 1st 1998 Michael Jones, from Birmingham, and a small group of less than 200 people formed the Hedgeline organisation as a vehicle to lobby for legislation to control high hedge problems, where one neighbour plants a fast growing shrub such a Cypress Leylandii


The founding member became famous after a five year court case legal battle with his neighbour was accorded much media attention.  Some 200 people contacted Michael as a result of the exposure.  Some of the original supporters with key skills helped Michael to set up Hedgeline and gave their time free of charge to this worthwhile enterprise, their contributions are listed below.


Michael Jones thus triggered the formation of the group.  He was the winner of the famous Stanton v.Jones 5 court case, which cost over one hundred thousand pounds.  He won the case on a technical point relating to the covenants applying to his land.




Michael Jones - Founder Member





    Max Ayriss, (Nuneaton) - Membership database and the strategies for building our regional network.


    Dennis Harris, (Dudley) - Public relations with both Local Council and Local Newspaper.


    Clare Hinchliffe, (Birmingham) - Legal drafting of the campaign's concepts, publications and website development.  Later on she became the campaign manager.


    Derek Glew, (Bristol) - Technical adviser.



Typical nuisance Leylandii - 30ft high






Primary Aim:  The legislative control of problem hedges.


In addition: 


1 - To bring about further changes in public attitudes towards the growers of problem hedges.

2 - To provide 'fellowship in adversity' for all Hedgeline members: sympathy and a listening ear to any hedge victim and informed support for those resolved on actively confronting their problem.


Please note, the Hedgeline group is not specifically against the Leyland Cypress, or against harmless high hedges in suitable places. We are against all problem hedges, regardless of the plant species involved.  


Please also note that the operators of this site are in no way connected with the Hedgeline organisation.  We are however, following progress of the new legislation and hope to be able to report successes and failures of the system, as new caselaw is made.  Our concern is that with Council's in the loop, favours and the like will be introduced in the equation as with the planning system.



Nuisance hedge neighbour



Why Join Hedgeline ?

    Tel. 0870 24 00 627 or contact Max to join them   (Include the word 'Hedgeline' in the title of your email, write your name address and postcode in your email message, and you should be sent a welcome pack. You could also usefully include your telephone number).
    Victims who are willing to talk to the Media include a note to that effect.

    Members will receive a central newsletter at crucial times in the campaign, If you join Hedgeline your details will be sent on to the appropriate Regional Organiser, who will be able to give you detailed support.  


    Please note that if you are no longer useful to the organisers of Hedgeline, they may advertise your details in such fashion as to seek to embarrass you, or accuse you of imitating them, when in fact you may simply be reporting the facts to a wider audience.  In this event you are likely to receive numerous unsigned emails from person claiming to represent the Hedgline organisation, but refusing to identify the sender.  As Hedgeline is neither a company, charity or other bona fide organisation with a written constitution, it will be difficult for you to seek legal redress under the law. 


    You may of course lobby your MP independently, as some of our group have chosen to do.




Hedgeline Contacts


Present Members

Media and MP's

    For the campaign, the Current political situation and details of the Hedge-Hedges Bill: Tel 0121 449 8330: Fax. 0121 449 2664, or email: Clare Hinchcliffe

    The Media may also wish to consult Hedgeline's regional representatives. Regional Sub-Groups

    These telephone numbers are for official Hedgeline calls.

Hedgeline Contacts, Information Number, Tel. 0870 24 00 627

Address changes and member withdrawals, Tel. 01455 890649

All Unofficial Contacts for information or advice, For Hedge-Victims





R.I.P. Leylandii  Monday, 9 December, 2002


LEYLANDII, the fast-growing conifer which has been at the root of bitter neighbourhood disputes, has been cut down to size.





Unlimited height hedges



While chainsaws and secateurs have taken their toll, the fatal blow has been dealt by a bill set to make its way into law. Local councils could soon be granted new powers in dealing with the so-called curse of the Leylandii.


Few, bar those who value their privacy, will mourn Leylandii's passing, for it has variously been branded a menace and a grotesque green giant.  Few would have foreseen such a notorious adulthood in the tree's early years; it was always somewhat precocious but trouble came from the remarkable speed at which it grew - up to a metre a year.


Ever controversial, Leylandii was blamed for sucking the goodness from soil, plunging gardens into shadow, and turning good neighbours into the worst of enemies.  Councils received hundreds of complaints from people saying their views and light have been blocked by the trees. Some disputes have even escalated into protracted court battles.


Surprise offspring


For those familiar with just such a "hedge from hell", it will come as no surprise that the conifer is not a naturally occurring plant.



Hedgeline protest


Opponents lobbying



Cupressocyparis Leylandii was born in south Wales in 1888, the unplanned offspring of Monterey Cypress and Alaskan Cedar.  The proud parents had long since given hope of producing any progeny, as attempts to interbreed conifers rarely succeed.


But a success it was, and the hardy, fast-growing Leylandii was soon adopted by homeowners in need of windbreaks, sight-screens and property boundaries. However the very qualities that made it ideal for such tasks ultimately led to its demise.  The death has been engineered by the Labour backbencher Stephen Pound, whose High Hedges Bill will be introduced to Parliament this week. If it becomes law, a special force of hedge-busters are to be set loose on any Leylandii that top two metres in height.  No flowers.