Includes advice and information regarding 'who owns the tree' and 'the responsibilities of a tree owner', 'high hedges' and the 'Highways Act', and 'branches, roots, leaves, fruit and flowers that cross property boundaries'.
Bats and TreesAll UK bat species rely on trees for part, or all, of their life cycle. The importance of trees to bats varies with both bat and tree species. The most important species of trees are ash, beech, oak and Scots pine.
Birds and TreesThe Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 is the primary legislation which protects animals (including birds), plants, and certain habitats in the UK.
Highways Act 1980The following sections of the Highways Act apply specifically to trees, shrubs and hedges in relation to highways. A highway is defined as 'a way for public use, including a footpath, bridleway or byway'.
High HedgesA high hedge, for this purpose, is defined as consisting of two or more evergreen or semi evergreen trees or shrubs in excess of two metres in height.
The Right to LightThere is no absolute right to light. However, a right to light may be acquired, in common law, by 'anyone who has had uninterrupted use of something over someone else's land for 20 years without consent, openly and without threat, and without interruption of more than a year'.
Who Owns the Tree?In most cases, a tree in its entirety (trunk, branches, and roots), is owned by the person who controls the land on which the tree was originally planted, usually the landowner.
Responsibilities of a Tree Owner - Works to TreesBefore carrying out any works to a tree, the local planning authority should be consulted to see if it is subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or if it is within a designated conservation area.
Tree Protection Orders and Conservation AreasThe local planning authority may grant consent, grant consent with conditions (such as replanting) or refuse consent. If your application to carry out work on a protected tree is refused, or you object to the conditions imposed by the planning authority you may appeal to the Secretary of State.