Climbing plants

The environmental fines catalog: These procedures can be expensive in the garden


Fines are automatically linked to road traffic, but some procedures in the garden can also mean that you have to pay a heavy penalty. Which the e.g. you can find out here.

© stadtratte -

If you think of the catalog of fines, you immediately have high penalties for driving too fast, parking incorrectly or using the mobile phone at the wheel. After all, it happens quite often. What many do not know is that there is also an environmental fines catalog. Special environmental offenses are punished here.

Each federal state has its own catalog of environmental fines. The amount of the penalty depends on your own place of residence.

You can find a list of all offenses and the corresponding fines staggered according to the federal states at

At this point, of course, many are wondering what can be done wrong in their garden, what can result in a fine. I would like to give you a brief overview of the most important offenses.

4 offenses that can be expensive in the garden

The garden is yours and you can do whatever you want on it? Unfortunately, it is not quite like that. Everyone has to follow certain rules. In allotment gardens there are often significantly more regulations than someone with their own property. I would like to introduce you to basic things that are punishable by everyone and can lead to high fines.

❖ make a fire

© M.Dörr & M.Frommherz -

A crackling fire in the garden brings cosiness and creates a strange atmosphere. In the evening after work or at the weekend with the children, you can spend many cozy hours by the fire. But is fire of any kind actually allowed? The fact is that an open fire always involves dangers.

All fireplaces that do not have a fire-proof closed container are considered to be open fires.

It is important to know that making a fire is generally subject to a few rules. These differ not only depending on the federal state, but often also depending on the municipality or city.

Basically, however, it can be said that burning garden and household waste is prohibited. This often creates a strong smoke and smell, which can quickly become a dispute with the neighbor. In order to be on the safe side and avoid a high fine, you should inform yourself on site which regulations apply. The following bodies can provide you with information:

  • police authorities
  • Ordnungsamt
  • environmental Agency
  • fire Department

The violation can be very expensive in Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. This can result in fines of up to 5,000 euros.

❍ Rules for a fire

In addition to the local requirements, there are also basic rules when setting up and heating a fireplace.

  • A minimum distance of 10 meters from surrounding buildings should be observed. Even quickly inflammable places, such as a wooden shelter, should be sufficiently far from the actual fire.
  • Only burn dry and natural wood. Garden waste such as brushwood, hedge trimmings and leaves are put on the compost.
  • Fires with a size of 1 × 1 meter are free of approval. In addition, you always need to get approval.
  • A protective wall should be erected around the fireplace to prevent the fire from spreading. This can be built from sand or stones.
  • Always have the appropriate extinguishing agent ready so that you can intervene immediately in an emergency. Water, sand, fire extinguishers and fire blankets are possible.
  • In strong winds or prolonged drought, you should avoid starting a fire.
  • Make sure that the fire is observed until the embers go out.

❖ Dispose of garden waste

© Daniel Strautmann -

We have just mentioned that garden waste must not be incinerated. But can you simply be disposed of freely? Of course not. Anyone who deposits their garden waste in the forest must face high fines. In Saarland, for example, a bucket of garden costs. and household waste around 200 euros, a trunk in Lower Saxony, for example, 400 euros, and those who fully dispose of a truck can expect to pay a fine of around 500 euros in some federal states such as Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony and the Saarland.

In order to avoid unnecessary punishments, it is better to properly dispose of the waste that arises in the garden. Here is a small list of where special waste can be taken.

wasteDisposal location / use
  • continue to use in your own garden
  • Advertise and sell
  • Delivery to the city or municipality
  • bring to landfill
  • Grass clippings on compost
  • Bio bin for twigs, hedge trimmings, waste from flower beds, weeds, etc.
  • Disposal at city or community via special bags
  • Household waste or bio bin
  • Make mulch and mix with shredded twigs and grass clippings to create winter protection for the plants
animal manure
  • compost
  • inquire at farms
  • Ask biogas plants for acceptance

❖ Cut the hedge


Cutting the hedge is part of the regular gardening work year after year. There is a lot of waste that, as mentioned above, cannot be burned. But this is not the only ban in this context. Added to this is the fact that, according to the Federal Nature Conservation Act, paragraph 39, paragraph 5, sentence 2, under, it is even forbidden to cut the hedge in a certain period of time.

The law states:

“It is forbidden to cut hedges, living fences, shrubbery and other trees, put them on the stick or remove them in the period from March 1st to September 30th; Gentle shape and maintenance cuts are permitted to remove the growth of plants or to keep trees healthy. "

The reason for the ban is that the animals and shrubs should be protected. But here, too, different regulations apply depending on the federal state.

The highest fine for illegal removal or damage to hedges is expected in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. This offense can cost up to EUR 100,000 here.

Maintenance cuts, for example to remove dead wood, are allowed all year round.

Another point that can result in a fine is the height of the hedge. However, this is a matter for the country. In most cases, the hedge must not be higher than two meters - if the distance to the neighboring house is 50 centimeters.

❖ Clear snow

© VRD -

Large fines can also result in pushing snow or when you don't. In principle, every home owner is obliged to clear the paths in front of their own property from snow. For tenants, it is specified in the rental agreement whether they are responsible for it or not.

If the snow is not cleared or sprinkled when it is slick, it can be twice as expensive.

  1. If someone falls and injures themselves, they can demand compensation.
  2. The municipality can impose a fine.

Again, it is different depending on the federal state. In most parts of Germany it costs up to 500 euros, the most expensive can be in Hamburg. A sidewalk that is not cleared can cost up to 50,000 euros.

It is important to know:

❍ Time for clearing snow:

  • on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sundays and public holidays: 8 a.m. / 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Here, the sidewalks must be clear by 7:00 a.m. or at 8:00 a.m. on weekends.

"To be on the safe side, also have a look at your municipal statutes. Sometimes there are small deviations.

❍ Frequency of snow removal:
With heavy and long-lasting snowfall, it is not enough to clear the path only once a day. It is recommended to do this in reasonable time.

In the event of slippery conditions, they are obliged to spread regularly. This was even recorded in a judgment at the Federal Court of Justice at

❍ Use of the spreading material:
When spreading material, make absolutely sure what you use. The use of salt is prohibited in many statutes. Sand or grit are more suitable.

" Attention: Do not push snow onto the road.