Trees and Hedges
Tree Preservation Orders
Frequently Asked Questions
Urban Tree Policy
Proposal - May 2000
List of local
High Hedge Legislation
Protected Trees a Guide to Tree Preservation Procedures
South Lakeland District Council are responsible for all fallen
trees in parks and public places that they maintain.
Problems with Trees on Council Housing Estates, Land and
If there are any fallen or dangerous trees in these areas
please contact us on 01539 717198 to report problems or seek
Fallen Trees on public roads
If you see any fallen trees on the roads please contact Cumbria
Highways Hotline on 0845 609 6609 or visit the Cumbria Highways
If you are worried about a dangerous tree, if
possible please take a photograph and seek advice from an
accredited Tree Surgeon in your area.
back to top
Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)
Advice on trees, in particular protected trees, may be obtained
from the Council's Arboriculturist who works at the Council offices
in Kendal and can be contacted on 01539 717373 (Monday,
Tuesday and Wednesday only) or email email@example.com.
Important Changes to Tree Preservation Orders - guidance
Tree Protection Orders prohibit the cutting down, uprooting,
lopping, topping, wilful damage or wilful destruction of trees
without local authority consent. Fines can be up to
£20,000. If you wish to carry out any work to a tree
protected by a Tree Protection Order, an application must be
submitted to the Council. There are certain exemptions from
the need to apply for consent. Please contact the Council for
South Lakeland Council is responsible for looking after
trees in parks and public open spaces. The Council responds
to reports of hazardous or fallen trees in parks and public open
spaces and undertakes an annual programme of tree planting.
Trees in Conservation Areas have similar levels of protection to
those protected by a Tree Protection Order. If you wish to
carry out any work to a tree located within a Conservation Area, a
Notice must be submitted to the Council
Frequently Asked Tree Questions
Do I need consent to fell trees in my
Only if they are protected by a Tree Preservation Order or are
within a Conservation Area.
Do I need consent to fell trees on my
land, where it is not part of the garden?
Again, you must check if it is protected by a Tree Preservation
Order, is located in a Conservation Area or if the trees are large
enough to require a Felling Licence from the Forestry
Can I ask for a Tree Preservation
Order to be placed on a tree?
Yes, but the Council has to ensure that the tree justifies legal
protection. It must be of special amenity value, of
significance to the public view and in danger of being damaged or
back to top
Urban Tree Policy Proposal May 2000
Outline of the Proposed Urban Arboriculture Policy
The importance of working within an allocated budget should be
recognised in the policy.
Reducing Public Liability
The Council has a duty of care and legal, public safety
Attention may be drawn to the recent case within the London
Borough of Barking and Dagenham, which resulted in the local
Council being found negligent following a road accident, involving
a motorist driving into a fallen tree in the highway, the tree was
under the management of the local Council.
- All trees to be inspected, tagged and recorded within a maximum
period of 4 years. Tree tagging programme scheduled to be completed
- Trees with a recognised potential "hazard" will be
inspected more frequently according to their individual
assessment, carried out by the Tree Officer.
- Tree tagging programme to be maintained, and to gradually
incorporate all non-woodland trees. All data to be recorded on
a computerised data base.
- All necessary remedial work will be prioritised and undertaken
according to the degree to the degree of hazard/risk identified.
Non-urgent work will also be influenced by the availability
of funding. Time spans will vary from 1-28 days for completion of
hazard abatement work.
- Records of all survey work, inspections and recommendations
etc., will be recorded and monitored.
Dealing with Common Complaints
Common enquiries relating to trees include the following
- Overhanging or obstructing branches
- Loss of light
- Loss of landscape views
- Dangerous trees or branches
- Interference with television and satellite reception
- Littering by leaves and fruit
*** During the period from 01.04.99 to
29.02.00 a total of 281 enquiries were received by the Council from
the general public.
A list has been compiled detailing the type of enquiries made
by the general public to Council offices relating to trees, each
category is represented as a percentage of the overall number of
Analysis of the most commonly received calls made by the
|Loss of view
|Conflicts with phone
|Requests for new
The proposed policy will
- Only in exceptional circumstances will trees be
pruned/pollarded as a response to complaints of falling leaves
or fruit. For example, where there may be a high risk to
public safety, in such cases replacement by more suitable
species will be the primary option. Between October and
January the Council's Street Cleansing Contract includes
provision for dealing with leaf fall.
- Because of the element of subjectivity, trees will not be
pruned or removed in a response to complaints of reduced light to
gardens or buildings. However, exception may be considered
only where the loss of light is such that it adversely affects the
quality of life for the individual(s) within the accommodation and
where pruning the tree would realistically improve the situation.
(see 'Appendix 2' below)
- Vegetation and trees grow and alter the landscape over
time, such changes are indeed an integral part of the ecological
balance of nature and as such should be recognised and valued.
Existing trees will only be considered for judicious pruning or
removal to restore public views where there are already
recognised public viewpoints (e.g. indicated on Ordnance Survey
Map), or where there is recognised potential for significant
landscape or amenity benefit. Similarly management to create
new public views will only be considered where there is
recognised potential for significant landscape or amenity
benefit. In any event historical evidence/records will be
required to help determine the level of management to be
undertaken. Currently, there is no legal right in law to a
view, and what is more a view obstructed by the growth of trees
cannot legally be regarded as a nuisance (Dobson & Patch
- Inevitably, where trees and buildings coexist some conflicts of
interest may develop if tree planting is not carefully planned.
Species will be selected according to potential height and
crown spread at maturity, leaf size, type of fruit produced and the
species individual response to pruning. All relevant British
and European Standards relating to buildings, planning and
trees will be referred to.
- The council will continue with its commitment to individual
trees or groups of trees where established management programmes
already exist, eg pollarded street trees.
- Resulting from the management work of trees within the district
will be chipped and recycled as mulch and incorporated into
existing parks and gardens, inline with Agenda 21.
- Trees along the highways will be managed so as to avoid
obstruction, or cause nuisance to pedestrians or motorists.
In the respect of leaf fall, the Council's Street
Cleansing Contract should ensure conditions do not become so
severe as to cause statutory nuisance.
An Urban Forestry
- Involve the whole community in tree care and management where
appropriate, inline with 'Best Value' consultation
- Plan the work required, following any necessary
- Develop and maintain co-operation between local authority
departments, local landowners, town and parish
- Involve voluntary groups, private householders and other
- Manage the tree population as a whole not as groups of trees or
- The tree population must be seen as a vital resource for shade,
wildlife value, visual screening, noise and pollution
reduction, shelter from prevailing winds and the provision of
interest within the urban landscape and a sense of the changing
- Losses of trees due to felling or storm damage must be
replaced, but importantly there must be an overall increase in the
total number of trees, to the existing population. Maintain a
minimum planting ratio of 2 : 1 (two new trees planted
for every tree removed) where practical. This will allow
for inevitable losses and will contribute to an overall
increase in the population.
- Trees must be replaced in accordance to their suitability to
their particular situation, consideration should be given to the
species, eventual size at maturity, local climate, soil-type,
environment, potential local difficult conditions, tree
availability, and local community opinion.
- Memorial trees will only be sited where they will contribute to
the amenity value of the area, and increase the diversity of
the local flora and fauna. Generally, applications for
memorial trees will be refused where they lead to potential
loss of visual amenity at recognised view points, or lead to
an overall saturation of trees in a public area. Borrans
Park, Ambleside, is a site where future tree planting will not
be pursued except to replace trees on a 'like for like'
- The production of a public information leaflet would be of
benefit, outlining the aims and actions of SLDC with
regard to current tree management. ???
A right to light can only be acquired if the light has been
uninterrupted for a period of 20 years, as outlined in the
Prescription Act 1832. (Arb. Practice Notes - "Trees in
Dispute" - APN 3).
There has not been any court case to date which has had to
deal with an issue solely of light being blocked by trees. The
Prescriptive right to light may be forfeited if trees
block light for more than 12 months without objection being
Pruning trees to try to improve the penetration of light
through the canopy can be ineffective and may ultimately result in
increasing the original problem. Some species of trees
respond poorly to pruning which can lead to significant disease and
structural problems in the future. Therefore, the real need
for pruning must be seriously considered, against the long-term
health of the tree and also the future financial implications of
maintaining the tree with a continued programme of pruning.
Dobson M. "Trees in Dispute"
Patch D. Arboriculture Advisory Note APN 3.
Publisher; Arboriculture Advisory and Information
ISSN 1358 8249.
back to top
Woodland Management Policy Proposals
Woodlands support complex eco
systems as well as increasing biodiversity as a
whole. As such they present unique assets
which have evolved over time and cannot be replaced 'off the
Despite the obvious exceptional
natural assets of South Lakeland, tree cover in Council woodland
has diminished over many years, both in quality and quantity, for a
variety of reasons. For example, conversion
from broadleaf to coniferous cover, the effects of agricultural
practises and urban expansion.
In addition to their nature
conservation value and inherent beauty, woodlands can provide
varied recreational opportunities both as a tranquil location and
activity centre for sympathetic pursuits, as well as offering
potential educational opportunities for the community as a
It is vital that what remains of
woodlands owned by South Lakeland District Council is managed and
enhanced in an appropriate and sensitive manner, in order to secure
their long term future. These proposals form that basis in
respect of Council interests.
Main Aim of this Policy
The overall aim of this policy is
establish a baseline strategy on which individual site specific
management plans can be created and implemented over time.
The Four Key Elements of our Woodland
- Nature conservation
- Providing for public access
- Promoting recreation
- Landscape amenity
Finding the correct balance between
these elements is the challenge, because each may be at odds with
one another, depending on location, access pressures and
conservation value etc. The Council in certain circumstances
may wish to favour one aim above others. Because of this,
'site specific' management plans have been drawn up by Cumbria
Broadleaves, taking into account the four key elements.
At the core of this woodland policy
is the intention to manage South Lakeland District Council's
woodlands in order to secure their long term future and to
foster greater public involvement and enjoyment of this most
valuable natural resource.
More information about our
woodland management policy is available by downloading the
Woodland Management Policy
back to top
List of local Arboricultural Consultants
Melbourne, 17 Millans Park, Ambleside LA22 9AG.
Tel: 015394 34698.
Mobile 07734 113964
BHA Trees Ltd
Brackenthwaite, Ulpha, Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria LA20
Tel. 01229 716498.
Mobile 07801 455333.
High Hedge Legislation
Legislation came into force on 1 June 2005.
High Hedge legislation requires the Council to accept and
determine complaints by owners/occupiers of domestic property
adversely affected by evergreen hedges over two metres
The Council's role is to act as an independent and
impartial third party and to assess and determine an appropriate
height for an evergreen hedge where there has been a dispute
Complaints Form High Hedges
Guidance and Advice on High
Telephone queries should be made to 01539 717373
Hedgerow Removal Notices
What is a Hedgerow Removal Notice?
Under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 local Councils have powers
to control the removal of
’Important Hedgerows’ and anyone wishing to remove a hedgerow,
either in whole or in part, is
required to notify the Council setting out their reasons for
wanting to remove the hedgerow. On
receipt of a notification, the Council will assess the hedgerow to
determine whether or not it is
’important’ under the defined criteria contained within the
Regulations. A Hedgerow Retention order
or written consent to remove the hedgerow will be forwarded on the
basis of the evaluation and the
reasons set out for removal. Removal includes any act that
results in the destruction of a hedgerow, if
the removal is in contravention of the Regulations, regardless of
whether the hedgerow is important
or not, this is a criminal offence and will result in
What information should I submit with a Hedgerow
The prescribed form of Hedgerow Removal Notice is set out in
Schedule 4 of the Hedgerow
Regulations and requires that:
- The notification must be in writing
- The hedgerow(s) in question should be clearly identified on a
large scale (preferably 1:2500)
plan to enable the Council to easily locate the site and the
- The applicant must clearly state the reasons for wishing to
remove the hedgerow
- Where the hedge is claimed to be less than thirty years old
this must be backed up with
- The status of the applicant must be made clear
back to top