Protected Trees

What is a Tree Preservation Order?

This is an order made by the borough council to protect significant trees, which may be under threat. The order makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage, or destroy a tree without the council’s permission.

Government advice is that TPOs are used with discretion, to ensure the right trees are protected. We must fully justify our reasons for serving an order.

Are trees in a conservation area protected?

A conservation area is an area selected by the council for its cultural and heritage importance. All trees over 7.5cm in diameter when measured at 1.5m from ground level are protected in a conservation area. It is an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage, or destroy a tree without the council’s permission in a conservation area.

What trees are protected?

Any tree, group of trees or woodland may be protected. To check to see if a tree is protected, you can:

Alternatively, you can view protected trees and conservation areas using our local view mapping system. For help on using the system, please follow our local view mapping system instructions.

Can I carry out work to a protected tree?

Before carrying out work to a protected tree, an application must be made by completing an application for tree works.

You may find it helpful to use the additional information template provided to help ensure that we have all the information we need to validate your application. View an example of how to complete the form, so you can see the type of information we require.

There is no fee for applying for works to protected trees.

For further tree work advice, please read the leaflet - tree work application advice.

How can I protect a tree?

When considering a request, we are need to establish that:

  • the trees are clearly visible from a public place, such as a highway, public footpath or bridleway
  • the loss of the trees would have a significant impact on the local environment and its enjoyment by the public
  • the trees are in reasonable health and condition

In addition, the trees should also be under threat, for example from proposed development or a change in land ownership.

A request for a new tree preservation order must be received in writing and must explain how each of the above criteria is met. A map or drawn plan to show the exact location of the tree is also required.

View current applications

The planning applications register contains applications to work on protected trees, view the planning applications register to find out if an application for work to a protected tree has been made.

Contact details

Natural Environment Team


Telephone: 01256 844844


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