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What are Tree Preservation Orders?

With Britain now a sprawling mass of high streets and suburban communities, the precious greenery that the UK has become famous for is constantly under threat. Population is always on the rise, more houses need to be built, and it’s our grassland and trees that tend to suffer.

There are, however, initiatives that have been put in place in order to bring this to a halt, one of which is the introduction of Tree Preservation Orders. Tree Preservation Orders, as the name suggests, protect particular trees from felling and vandalism, especially those which bring significant amenity to the local area. They are an excellent way in which we can keep our environment safe, and they are something which we should all familiarise ourselves with. So, in line with this thought, this month’s article will provide some important nuggets of knowledge concerning Tree Preservation Orders.

Trees only

Firstly, Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) are strictly concerned with trees, and do not cover shrubs, bushes, hedges or any other plant life. This is largely because the legislation is difficult enough to pass as it is, and trees are decidedly more beneficial to communities and local areas than other, smaller plant life.

Also, it’s worth noting that:

1) TPOs are not necessarily restricted to protecting one tree; they can protect all trees within a specific area or woodland

2) any species of tree can be protected, but no species of tree is automatically protected by a TPO

In what way do they protect trees?

A Tree Preservation Order is a written order whereby, if a tree is protected under it, it is a criminal offence to fell, lop, uproot, or damage that particular tree. Moreover, it is also a criminal offence to cause or permit such actions without the permission of the authorities.

In cases where someone is found guilty of such an act, the issue can be taken to the Crown Court where an unlimited fine can be given.

How can I apply for a Tree Preservation Order?

If there is a particular tree in your local area that you think is worth protecting, you must form an application to your Local Planning Authority, that is, the borough, district or council in which the tree is situated. In the application, you need to make a case for why the tree should be saved, and also provide a way in which the tree can be located with ease, a map, for example.

Upon reception, the Planning Authority would put a temporary TPO in place, allowing any objections to be filed for up to 28 days. After that six month period, the TPO is either passed in a permanent manner or made void, depending on the strength of the objections put forward by local residents or any other party.

Here at Artemis Tree Services, we care about our environment, providing a wide range of tree services to Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas. We’ll arrange a free site visit from our professional tree surgeons to carry out an assessment at a convenient time and date to discuss your requirements. For more information or to book your site visit, simply get in touch with one of our knowledgeable staff.


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