Protecting Trees

Here is the Tree preservation Order Enforcement Flow Chart

There are a number of ways that trees are protected by law within the UK. These include Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), Conservation Areas, the Felling Licence system, Restrictive Covenants, and planning conditions within the planning system. It is important to find out from your local council whether any legal restrictions apply before you undertake any work on trees as you may be liable to prosecution if permission is not first obtained – The Arboricultural Association has produced a useful guide to Trees and the Law.

Trees, hedges and woodland are an integral part of Devon’s countryside and towns, and they provide multiple benefits to society, including filtering air pollution, reducing surface water runoff /contributing to sustainable drainage, providing wildlife habitats, improving water quality and the stabilising of soils and slopes.

Devon’s hedges are particularly special. They are of great historical importance, define the county’s beautiful farmed landscapes, and support an immense amount of wildlife. Devon Hedge Group provides information on Devon’s hedges are why they are so important for biodiversity and landscape.

Also of special value are Devon’s orchards, Ancient Woodland, veteran trees & ancient pasture woodland as they form part of its historic landscapes, including many historic parkland estates and deigned landscapes.  Download the Woodland Trust Ancient Tree Guide which explains what ancient & veteran trees are and why they are important. Also visit the Ancient Tree Inventory, which allows users to search, submit and update records for ancient/veteran trees.

Trees, hedges and woodland are also key parts of our green infrastructure in and around cities and towns – visit the Devon County Council GI strategy

South Hams District Council Guideance provided by Lee Marshall, SHDC Tree Officer. Valid at 3.9.2019 )



TPO Enforcement Flow Chart

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Tree Preservation Orders – general

Making Tree Preservation Orders

Informing people that a Tree Preservation Order has been made

Commenting on newly made Tree Preservation Orders

Confirming Tree Preservation Orders

Varying and revoking Tree Preservation Orders

Making applications to carry out work on trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order

Taking decisions on applications for consent under a Tree Preservation Order

Appealing against local authority decisions on applications

Compensating for loss or damage

Protecting trees in conservation areas

Enforcing tree protection offences

Replacing protected trees

Annex A: Flowcharts

Forestry Commission Online Felling Application

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