Protected trees and hedgerows FAQ's

The Council's Responsibility

Please Note: The Council is not responsible for any protected trees unless they are on Council owned land.

Q. What is a tree preservation order?

A. This is an order made by the Council, which makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop or uproot. It also makes it an offence to wilfully damage or destroy a tree without the permission of the local planning authority.

Q. What is the purpose of a tree preservation order?

A. To protect trees for the public’s enjoyment and to preserve the character and amenity of an area.

Q. What types of trees are covered by a tree preservation order?

A. There is no specific type of tree that is protected. Orders do not cover hedges, brushes or shrubs. A Tree Preservation Order may protect a single tree or even in whole woodland.

Q. How can I find out whether a tree has a preservation order?

A. The planning department will undertake an official search on your behalf.

Q. There are trees that I think should be protected, what can I do?

A. Contact us, giving us the details of the trees and the reasons why you think they should be protected. The Tree Officer will then undertake a site visit and assess the trees accordingly.

Q. Does a Tree Preservation Order come into effect immediately?

A. If the Council chooses so then, yes, an Order can become effective immediately and will continue so for six months or until the order is confirmed. If a Tree Preservation Order is made on your property the Council will write to you and other interested parties serving notice of the making of the Order. The Council will also leave a copy of the order at a convenient place for public inspection.

Q. Is there a right to object to, or express support for, a tree preservation order?

A. If anyone wants to object to or support a Tree Preservation Order, then contact the Council within four weeks from the serving date explaining your views and providing details of the relevant trees. The Council will take all comments into account when it decides whether to confirm the order.

Q. What happens if I cut down a protected tree without permission from the local authority?

A. It is an offence to undertake any works to a protected tree without permission, There are severe consequences for any works that are carried out, You could be fined up to £20,000 (per tree) or be liable for an unlimited fine. In determining the amount of the fine, the court would take into account the actual, or likely, financial benefit arising from the offence. For other offences you could be fined up to £2,500.

You will normally have to plant a replacement tree if the tree was cut down or destroyed.

Last Updated on Thursday, December 5, 2019