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Tree Consents

Trees form an integral part of the built and natural environment, making a valuable contribution to the character of an area. Their longevity, often spanning many centuries, provides continuity and focus within local communities contributing to our history and culture.

this is an image of a Veteran Ash at Hailes Abbey
Veteran Ash at Hailes Abbey, Gloucester © Alan Cathersides

As design elements in both the urban and rural environments they give scale, texture and colour to landscapes, complementing or screening buildings.

However, as with all living organisms, trees are sensitive to environmental change and can be irreparably damaged by inappropriate management both above and below ground level.

Tree Preservation Orders

Trees may be specifically protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) or more generally if they are within a Conservation Area. If trees are protected then consent is required for works to be done to them. Information about these consents is given in the Historic England Heritage Protection Guide.

Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) deal with all planning matters relating to trees and hedges. Before carrying out works to trees you should always check with the LPA whether consent is required.

The Register of Parks and Gardens kept by Historic England is intended to raise awareness of the historic significance of individual parks and gardens. Their historic significance may be important in considering planning applications affecting the park or garden.

Marble Hill Park
Marble Hill Park sits within the Twickenham Riverside Conservation Area © Alan Cathersides

Trees and features such as groups of trees and woodlands form the structure of many designs, and also shape the character and setting of these special landscapes. It will be helpful to consider trees when planning changes to these landscapes.

In addition specimen trees and woodlands may also be of historic interest for arboricultural and silvicultural reasons or for their wildlife value.

If you intend to carry out work to any trees on a scheduled monument, you may need to obtain Scheduled Monument Consent before you start works.

In certain circumstances a Felling Licence may be required. All trees within England are the subject of the Forestry Act 1967 which requires a felling licence to be granted by the Forestry Commission if the volume of timber to be felled exceeds five cubic metres.

You will have to notify the Forestry Commission if the trees you wish to fell are covered by a TPO or are located within a conservation area.

Beech Tree growing over the remains of Bayham Abbey
Bayham Old Abbey, Kent. Beech Tree growing over the remains of the Abbey © Alan Cathersides