In the UK, there are numerous ways to protect trees, such as Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and restrictive covenants. Such protections mean you may be liable to prosecution if you carry out tree pruning or tree removal work without prior permission. With 10+ years of experience as tree surgeons, we explain the various protections in place, and what they mean, so that you can avoid any potential legal issues.
Our combined tree surgery and landscaping company also advises on requirements for hedge cutting, and the installation of fencing, in Banstead and the surrounding areas. Never remove trees to pave the way for garden patios, extensions or other builds without taking the time to read this page first.
Before carrying out any form of tree surgery, we find out if legal restrictions apply. If necessary, we obtain permissions in advance and we never undertake work without the required approvals. The following are all types of protection that our tree surgeons might encounter on projects in Banstead.
Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
A Tree Preservation Order protects trees which significantly benefit their local surroundings, and these are issued by the local planning authority. A TPO can protect single trees or entire woodlands of any species. TPOs make it an offence for anyone, including our tree surgery and landscaping company, to carry out work without the permission of the local authority.
This includes tree removal and intentional damage as well as minor tree work. Even if trees are blocking the construction of new builds, garden patios or fencing, we must have prior local authority approval before we can remove them.
While TPOs can apply to trees in hedgerows, they cannot apply to individual hedges, bushes or shrubs. This means you are free to carry out hedge cutting in Banstead without approval so long as you don’t touch protected trees or break other restrictions, such as the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
A countryside hedgerow is a boundary line of bushes that can include trees. When removing countryside hedgerows in Banstead and the surrounding areas, there are rules to follow. You could receive an unlimited fine if you don’t. A hedgerow has protection if it meets certain criteria covering its length, location and importance. Our tree surgeons can advise on this.
If a hedgerow is on or next to land used for agriculture, or if it contains protected species listed in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, restrictions will apply.
In addition, because trees in a hedgerow may have a TPO, you must not carry out a tree removal without permission even if you’re allowed to remove the hedge. However, you might not need permission to undertake certain work in Banstead, such as formative tree surgery and some hedge cutting, so long as there are no native bird species nesting in the hedgerow.
Our landscaping company will never remove trees, build garden patios or construct fencing if it impacts wildlife habitats.
A restrictive covenant is a promise between two people, such as a buyer and seller, not to do certain things with land or property. They apply to the land and not the owner, meaning restrictive covenants continue even after sale. Restrictions may mean we need to obtain third party consent before carrying out specific works, like tree surgery and tree removal.
Restrictive covenants can also apply to hedge cutting and fencing. We will advise you if we encounter an issue.
We’re an ethical tree care and landscaping company that does everything possible to protect the environment and local ecosystems. If you own a property or land in Banstead and need to discuss arboriculture, hedge work, fencing construction or garden patios, we would be delighted to hear from you.