Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Local Government Committee

Dr Maggie Keegan of the Scottish Wildlife Trust told the Local Government Committee proposed legislation to deal with hedge disputes must protect Scotland's old and historic trees on 5 December 2012.

Dr Keegan was keen the narrow definition of what constitutes anti social vegetation did not branch out to include species or trees, like the oak, that have a historical, cultural or protected status.

The High Hedges (Scotland) Bill aims to help resolve the thorny issue of nuisance hedges.

The members bill brought forward by Nationalist MSP, Mark MacDonald would outlaw hedges of a certain height.

There would also be help for warring neighbours to resolve their disputes.

Disputes over the size of Leylandi and other shrubs have often led to confrontation between residents, which has been dubbed "hedge rage".

In general all the witnesses giving evidence broadly agreed with the terms of the bill but there was much discussion about the more unusual scenarios which may arise.

There was a suggestion that woodland and forests could also impact on someone's property, Angus Yarwood of the Scottish Woodland Trust said this should certainly not be included in the bill as there was currently legislation to cover this aspect.

The anti big hedge lobbying group, Scothedge http://scothedge.colwat.com/ Scothedge said a balance needed to be struck between "a persons quality of life and a tree".

Mr Park of Scothedge added the bill would not be a huge undertaking but for those whose "lives had been made an absolute misery by vegetation" it would allow them redress.

Similar legislation has been introduced in England, Wales, the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland.

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