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Trees in conservation areas

How to find out if a tree is in a conservation area, and when you'll need to get permission to carry out any works.

Trees are an important feature of many of our conservation area.

If you want to prune or cut down trees in a conservation area you must give us at 6 weeks' notice in writing. This is called a Section 211 notification.

Some trees in conservation areas are also protected by tree preservation orders (TPO).

Find if a tree is protected

You can check if a tree or group of trees are in a conservation area by searching our constraints maps (opens new window).

You'll also be able use these maps to see if a tree is protected by a TPO.

Works that need permission

You'll need to apply for permission for any work to a tree that involves:

  • cutting down
  • topping
  • lopping
  • uprooting

Wilful damage or wilful destruction of a tree are also prohibited.

You may be prosecuted for working on or removing any protected trees without permission.

Works that don't need permission

There are a number of exceptions that mean that you'll not need to apply for permission for any work to a tree.

These exceptions include certain work

  • the cutting down, topping or lopping or uprooting of a tree whose diameter does not exceed 75 millimetres at 1.5 metres above ground level
  • the cutting down or uprooting of a tree, whose diameter does not exceed 100 millimetres at at 1.5 metres above ground level, for the sole purpose of improving the growth of other trees (eg thinning as part of forestry operations)
  • the cutting down, topping, lopping or uprooting of a tree by, or on behalf of us
  • the cutting down, topping, lopping or uprooting of a tree by or on behalf of the Forestry Commission on land in which it has an interest
  • cutting down a tree in accordance with a felling licence or a plan of woodland operations agreed by the Forestry Commission

You can find further information on exceptions on GOV.UK.

Apply to work on a tree that's protected

You will need to make a 'works to trees' application if they're protected by a TPO or you live in a conservation area.

When you submit an application for works to trees you'll need to include photographs of the tree(s) that are the subject of the application.


Emergency work to dying, dead or dangerous trees

Except in an emergency you must give us at least working five days' notice before you carry out works on a dead or dangerous protected tree or if you remove dead dying or dangerous timber from an otherwise healthy tree.


Additional information

Tree Preservation Orders and trees in conservation areas on GOV.UK

The Town and Country Planning (Trees) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2008

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