There is a centuries-old history of vigilance in Britain, a place with a proven passion for the care of its landscape. Time was when someone caught as much as cutting a hole in a hedge paid for the crime by spending a minimum of two hours in the stocks. In the 17th century, hedge-breakers were whipped until, according to records in Essex County, "they bled well".
It was reported in 1997 that the Council for the Protection of Rural England was lobbying the government to adopt promised regulations to a 1995 environmental law, under which someone removing a historic hedgerow would be subject to a fine of 4,800 pounds and obliged to replace it.
Advocates of saving the hedgerows won a round in 1997 when a court ruled that the East Yorkshire village of Flamborough could not pull up a 53-yard hawthorn hedge to make a bowling green. The judge based the decision on an enclosure act of 1765 under which the village had been ordered to "maintain it forever".
Nowadays there is no punishment for destruction of hedgerows, and the system for detecting and act is voluntary and hardly scientific. You just need to be driving about and see smoke risin.