Local planning authorities have specific powers to protect trees by making Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), although the Forestry Commission is responsible for the control of felling generally.

A TPO is an order made by the local planning authority which in general makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree without the planning authority's permission. Its purpose is to protect trees that are significant in their local surroundings. All types of trees may be protected, including hedgerow trees, but not hedges, bushes or shrubs. The order can cover anything from a single tree to whole woodlands.

For more information see

Protected trees:a guide to tree preservation procedures

Tree Preservation Orders: A Guide to the Law and Good Practice

together with A Guide to the Law and Good Practice Addendum - May 2009

Trees within Conservation Areas are also protected and where works are sought to these trees, it is necessary to give prior notice to the council.

The Council encourages responsible tree care undertaken by arboricultural professionals and welcomes carefully considered applications for consent to carry out reasonable and justified works to protected trees.  Just as importantly, the Council seeks to preserve quality trees within the environment for the benefit of the wider community and will seek the retention of appropriate trees on development sites for this reason. BS5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition & construction sets out the good practice in relation to trees on development sites the Council will expect to see adhered to.

The website of the Arboricultural Association provides helpful advice on the employment of professional arborists.

We will actively promote planting the right tree in the right place.

Guidance and application forms for  Applications to work on protected trees  

Guidance on making applications for works to Tree Preservation Order trees and trees in Conservation Areas