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Trees and hedges

Fallen trees

We are responsible for fallen trees in public places we maintain.

Let us know about fallen or dangerous trees, contact us on 01539 793 166.

Fallen trees on roads

Cumbria County Council deal with debris or obstruction on a highway.

Report debris or obstructions on a highway

Dangerous trees

If you are worried about a dangerous tree, if possible please take a photograph and seek advice from an accredited tree surgeon.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO's)

You can get advice on trees and protected trees from our trees officer who can be contacted on 01539 793 349 from Monday to Wednesday, or by emailing

Important Changes to Tree Preservation Orders: guidance sheet (PDF/34KB/3 pages)

TPO's prevent the cutting down, uprooting, lopping, topping, wilful damage or destruction of trees without our consent. Fines can be up to £20,000.  

If you wish to carry out work to a tree protected by a TPO you must apply to us. There are some exemptions. Please contact us for advice.

TPO consent form (PDF/214KB/4 pages)

TPO consent form guidance (PDF/104 KB/6 pages)

Working on trees in a Conservation Area

If you want to carry out any work to a tree within a conservation area, you must let us know by completing an application form.

Map showing conservation areas in our district

Notify us about proposed work on a tree in a Conservation Area (PSF/214KB/4 pages)

Proposed work to a tree in a conservation area form guidance (PDF/104 KB/6 pages)

Chalara dieback of Ash in South Lakeland

In recent months Chalara dieback of Ash has been identified in woodlands within the South Lakeland area. Chalara dieback of Ash, caused by the Hymenoscyphus fraxineus fungus, has the potential to have a significant impact upon the health and appearance of woodlands in the area.

The national response to the spread of Chalara dieback of Ash is being co-ordinated by the Forestry Commission who should be informed of any suspected infection sites.  Details of how to identify potentially infected trees and how to report trees suspected of infection can be found at the Forestry Commission.

Implications for access to SLDC managed land

All South Lakeland District Council public access sites, including woodlands, continue to be open to the public. The spores that cause Chalara Dieback are easily spread by the wind, contact with footwear, clothing and pets.

You can help limit the spread of this fungus, and other tree diseases by following the advice issued by The Food and Environment Research Agency.

Trees on your land

Consent to fell trees in your garden 

You only need to get consent if the trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or if they are in a conservation area.

Felling trees on your land, where it is not part of the garden 

You must check if the tree is protected by a TPO or if it is in a conservation area. If the trees are large enough you may need a felling license from the Forestry Commission.

Making a Tree Preservation Order

We have to make sure the tree justifies legal protection.  

It must be: 

  • of special amenity value
  • of significance to the public view
  • in danger of being damaged or removed

High hedges

The law requires us to accept and determine complaints by people in homes affected by evergreen hedges over two metres high.

We act as an independent and impartial third party to assess and determine an appropriate height for a hedge where there has been a dispute between neighbours.

Complaints Form High Hedges (PDF/51.4KB/7 pages)

Guidance and advice on high hedges

Hedgerow removal notices

Hedgerow regulations give us powers to control the removal of hedgerows. If you want to remove a hedgerow, completely or in part, you must contact us and tell us your reasons.

We will assess the hedgerow and a Hedgerow Retention Order or written consent to remove it will be sent you. 

Removal includes any act that destroys a hedgerow. If this breaks the regulations it is a criminal offence and will result in prosecution.

A hedgerow removal notice must be made:

  • in writing
  • with hedgerow(s) clearly identified on a large scale (preferably 1:2500) plan 

You must let us know the reasons for removing the hedgerow. 

If it is claimed to be less than 30 years old this must be backed up with evidence.

You must make clear who you are and your interest in the hedgerow.

Depending on where the hedgerow is we may also ask for a: