Tree Protection & Conservation
TREE PROTECTION BRIEF GUIDANCE.
Anyone wishing to undertake work to a tree should make suitable enquiries as to the legal status of the tree and any protection afforded to it, before undertaking any work, in order to protect themselves and others from possible prosecutions or enforcement action.
This protection is particularly important where trees are under threat.
All types of tree, but not hedges, bushes or shrubs can be protected, and a TPO can protect anything from a single tree to all trees within a defined area or woodland.
In serious cases the case may be dealt with in the Crown Court where an unlimited fine can be imposed.
The form can either be submitted through the Planning Portal or directly to the LPA.
You might also find it helpful to seek the advice of a tree surgeon prior to making an application.
Conservation AreasNormal TPO procedures apply if a tree in a conservation area is already protected by a TPO.
This is called a ‘section 211 notice’ and it gives the LPA an opportunity to consider protecting the tree with a TPO.
You do not need to give notice of work on a tree in a conservation area less than 7.5 centimetres in diameter, measured 1.5 metres above the ground (or 10 centimetres if thinning to help the growth of other trees).
If valid planning conditions are in place then anyone wishing to undertake work to trees shown as part of the planning condition must ensure they liaise with the LPA and obtain any necessary consent or variation.
For further information you are advised to contact either your LPA or to seek advice from an Arboricultural Association Registered Consultant from the list which can be found here.
You do not need a licence to fell trees in gardens. However, for trees outside gardens, you may need to apply to the Forestry Commission for a felling licence, whether or not they are covered by a TPO.
They include some of our most spectacular and beautiful habitats - large wetlands teeming with waders and waterfowl, winding chalk rivers, gorse and heather-clad heathlands, flower-rich meadows, windswept shingle beaches and remote uplands moorland and peat bog.
Each SSSI will have a management plan and a list of operations requiring the SNCOs consent prior to carrying out works.Any activity that recklessly or intentionally harms the SSSI (ASSIs in Northern Ireland) or its flora or fauna will be an offence liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £20,000 or on conviction on indictment to an unlimited fine.
It binds the land and not an individual owner, it "runs with the land".
Restrictive covenants continue to have effect even though they may have been made many years ago and appear to be obsolete.
This may be the case even if TPO, CA and felling licence regulations do not apply.
Please note this brief guide should not be taken as a definitive interpretation of the law as it affects trees but is intended purely to provide general guidance.
This is one of a series of technical advice guides from the Arboricultural Association -
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