residential development guide for home extensions and new dwellings 


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Trees and High Hedges

Trees and hedges are a key element of our countryside, but they also have a major part to play in urban areas in England, where more than 80 per cent of the population lives. Trees and hedges in private gardens, parks and streets are of great importance to people, particularly in residential areas. However, they need to be selected and planted with care and managed appropriately if we are to make the most of their potential to enhance their environment. We promote best practice in the management of trees through a research programme and publication of reports and guidance. Trees may be protected by tree preservation orders (TPOs) or other legal procedures to make sure that they are not lost or damaged needlessly. Where plants get out of hand problems can occur, such as where a high hedge restricts someone's use or enjoyment of their property. Legislation has now been introduced to address this problem.

  • Published: 23 October 2008
  • Site: Planning, building and the environment


This leaflet is written for the benefit of tree owners, the general public and amenity groups, and answers some of the most common questions about tree preservation procedures. It is for guidance only and is not a statement of the law. You should consult a solicitor if you are unsure of your legal rights or obligations.

This replaces Protected Trees: A Guide to Tree Preservation Procedures published in December 2004.


Protected trees: a guide to tree preservation procedures


Planning Permision in the Open Countryside