Contrary to popular belief conservation areas are not stretches of countryside but parts of towns and cities or even whole villages. Local authorities in England and Wales have the power to designate conservation areas based on local or regional criteria.

Within a conservation area the local authority has additional controls over demolition, minor developments and the protection of trees. Local authorities also have the power to impose many other restrictions within a conservation area, even down to what colour you paint your house. Although a preservation order cannot be made on a hedge there may be constraints on carrying out major work on it with a conservation area.

You can find out more about conservation areas on line at the English Heritage website or by contacting your local district council.

South Somerset District Council maintain an interactive map on their web site with overlays for listed buildings, conservation orders and much more