Tree Management

Tree and Hedgerow Management Policy For 
Sydling St Nicholas Parish Council 
General Principles 
The Parish Council has adopted the following principles in relation to trees on Parish Council 
land – 
• It will take a responsible approach to tree management and to any risks 
which they may pose to people and surrounding property 
• It will be prudent in identifying any such risks 
• It will take steps to reduce these risks 
• Monitor Dorset Council, Tree Work Planning Applications for tree works on 
private property and comment on them when asked to do so. 
• In maintaining our trees we will: 
• Remove dead, dying and dangerous trees 
• Remove dangerous and damaged limbs 
• Replace lost trees where possible 
• (All works to be carried out by an Authorized Tree Surgeon) 
• Ensure new trees planted, are healthy and free from disease, they must come 
from a reputable nursery, who can track the history of the tree for biosecurity measures. 
• To survey our trees on a regular basis, but if trees require works under this 
section, members of the public should contact: Sydling St Nicholas Parish Council Tree 
Warden, Telephone: 01300 342193 or email: sydlingstnicholas@dorset-aptc.gov.uk 
• The trees will be inspected and if works are required this will be programmed 
as necessary. 
The Woodland Trust states that “trees and hedgerows are important features in the 
landscape; providing food and shelter for wildlife’. 
The Parish Council accepts that as well as being central to the visual character of the Parish, 
trees and hedgerows create a diverse habitat and wildlife corridors for a variety of 
wildflowers, bugs, birds and mammals. They are also useful in flood prevention and 
absorbing noise and particulate pollution. 
The rest of this policy provides further details of the approaches the Parish Council will use 
to preserve, enhance and manage trees and hedgerows on their land. 
General Policy 
This policy defines the Council’s approach to tree and hedgerow management on its land. It 
is intended to be a point of reference for the Public, Councillors and Officers to ensure a 
consistent and structured approach to the management of the Parish Council’s trees and 
hedgerows. This policy sets out a proactive and systematic method of management that will 
both conserve and enhance our tree population and hedgerows and the amenity value of our 
land. For sites of special character or that have trees and hedgerows of particular 
significance, this general policy will be supplemented with the site’s particular management 

Tree Protection 
Due care will be taken by the Council to ensure that damage to trees by mowing and 
strimming is prevented. Longer grass margins around trees may be left. Protection will be 
provided for newly planted or young trees where appropriate, for example, timber posts 
surrounded by wire mesh. 
Tree Inspections 
The council has a duty to care for its trees and will use a qualified tree surgeon to inspect all 
trees every two years. 
The Council will also consider requests to conduct tree work on the Council’s land from local 
residents. If the request concerns a potentially dangerous tree, the tree will be inspected and 
recommended works will be scheduled as soon as possible. If the request is non-urgent, the 
Clerk will place the request on the next Parish Council Agenda. If agreed, an inspection will 
be undertaken. In all cases the local resident will be informed of any actions taken. 
The Council recognises the importance of mature and ancient trees and will balance safety 
with a duty to protect the environment, ensuring only essential/minimal works are undertaken 
in order to preserve a tree. 
Tree Felling 
The Council will avoid felling trees unless it is necessary. This will usually be for health and 
safety purposes or to prevent the spread of serious tree diseases and pests. However, the 
Council reserve the right to fell trees to prevent overcrowding, to improve habitats or restore 
landscapes in line with site management or where a tree is inappropriate to its location and 
has a significantly detrimental impact on the amenity of the site. 
Woody Debris 
Where appropriate woody debris will be used to provide or extend wildlife habitats in the 
vicinity or offered to local residents for this purpose. 
Tree work will be prioritised and carried out according to the following criteria: 
Emergency; Dangerous trees requiring immediate attention 
Desirable Work; Actions to improve tree health 
Non-essential Work; Actions to thin or prune Parish Council owned trees 
Tree maintenance will be carried out by contractors who are qualified tree surgeons. All tree 
works will comply with BS3988:2110 Recommendations for Tree Work and any subsequent 
Tree Pruning 
This will be carried out for health and safety reasons, such as to remove lower branches 
growing over a road or public areas 
Or where it benefits the health of a tree, for example pollarding to extend the lifespan of a 
tree and prevent splitting 
The Council will not undertake tree pruning or maintenance – 
. In response to natural occurrences that do not pose a health and safety risk, such as 
falling leaves, fruit, berries, seeds, bird droppings, pollen etc. 
. Solely for reasons of increasing sun light/views to properties and gardens

. During the nesting season, unless work is for health and safety reasons usually from 
1st March to 31st August. 
. If a tree contains roosting bats, unless work is for health and safety reasons 
. Where trees have a negative impact on television reception 
. On trees overhanging an adjacent property, unless work is for health and safety 
reasons. Landowners have a common law right to prune back tree branches to their 
boundary, providing that would not lead to tree death and providing the tree is not 
protected by a TPO or within a Conservation Area. 
. To remove dead branches from trees located in relatively quiet locations due to their 
ecological value, unless work is for health and safety reasons 
Conservation Area and Tree Preservation Orders 
A Tree Preservation Order is a form of planning control. It prevents cutting down, uprooting, 
topping, lopping, wilful damage or destruction of trees without permission from the Dorset 
The same protections apply to trees in a Conservation Area and also require permission 
from the Dorset Council Planning Department. 
Consent is required to work on trees in a Conservation Area or that are protected by a TPO. 
Planning applications to Dorset Council are usually dealt within 6 weeks. 
Hedgerows are an important feature in the village. They may have marked important 
historical boundaries and their loss is to be discouraged. Hedgerows provide habitat for a 
wide range of wildlife. 
The Council will – 
. aim to increase infill or new planting of native hedge species on sites they own within 
the parish. 
The Council will not undertake hedge pruning or maintenance – 
. During the nesting season, unless work is for health and safety reasons. The main 
nesting and breeding season is recognised as being between 1 March to 31 
APPENDIX A – Parish Council Owned Land; 
The Village Green 
The Play Park 
The Spiny 
The Village Hall grounds 
Common Law – Advice on Cutting of Tree Branches Not Protected by a TPO or within 
a Conservation Area 
Provided the tree is not protected by a TPO or situated in a Conservation Area, then 
Under Common Law a person may cut back any branch (or root) from a neighbour’s tree 
that overhangs or encroaches on their property. In cutting back any overhanging branches 
(or encroaching roots) the following points need to be observed –

. You must not proceed across Parish Council Land with the intention to perform 
unauthorised tree works without written permission. 
. Branches or roots must not be cut back beyond the boundary of privately owned 
. Any branches, fruit or roots removed must be returned to the owner unless they 
otherwise agreed 
. All work must be carried out carefully to avoid damaging property or carrying out 
work that would leave the tree unsafe or dangerous, or would lead to the death of the 
Contact details: 
Sydling St Nicholas Parish Council; https//www.parish-council.com 
Sydling St. Nicholas Parish Clerk: Mr D Green 
email: sydlingstnicholas@dorset-aptc.gov.uk 
Sydling St Nicholas Parish Council Tree Warden; Shell Durack 
Telephone: 01300 342193: Email; shell.durack@gmail.com 
If you are planning to carry out work to any tree(s) on Privately owned Land, within a 
Conservation Area you will need to give Dorset Council Planning Dept. 6 weeks notice of 
the proposed work. You can download the 'Tree works: trees in conservation areas/ subject 
to TPOs' application form via the Planning Portal. During the 6 weeks notice they will 
consider whether the tree is worthy of a tree preservation order. 

Trees on other open spaces may be the responsibility of Dorset Council. 
Trees situated within the public highway, adjacent to the road or on roadside verges, are 
generally the responsibility of Dorset Council. You can contact them on: Dorset Tree and 
Environment Team for North & West Dorset 
Telephone; 01258 484248 
Email: treeteamwest@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk 
Version: 1 
Date approved: 6/3/23 
Review Date: April 2025 
Author: Cllr. S. Durack 
Sydling St. Nicholas Parish Council

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