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Find out about protected trees

Tree preservation orders

Over 2000 trees within the Borough of Swindon are protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPO's).

Trees and woodlands which contribute to the local environment can be protected and Trees in Conservation Areas have similar protection.

You must give us notice and complete an application form if you plan to carry out any works to trees or woodland covered by a Tree Preservation Order. For trees in conservation areas, we must be given at least six weeks notice.

It is an offence to cut down or damage a protected tree.

How to request TPO's

Copies of individual TPO's related to a specific site address can be requested (for a fee of £12.60 per copy) or can be inspected free of charge at the council offices by prior arrangement.

To request a copy or make arrangements, email: TStringer@swindon.gov.uk.

Trees in conservation areas

The Conservation Area legislation is similar to the Tree Preservation Order, including the financial penalties and tree replacement. The main difference is that whilst you are required to notify us, the application is a 'notice of intent' rather than seeking our permission.

If you have not heard back by the time the six weeks has expired then you may proceed with the works described in your letter.

How to apply

If you plan to carry out any works to trees, hedges or woodlands covered by a Tree Preservation Order or within a Conservation Area, you must give us notice by completing the online application via the National Planning Portal.

Conditions and other forms of legislation

Conditions are often attached to planning permission and typically take the view that no trees are to be lopped, topped, felled or otherwise destroyed without the written consent of the Local Planning Authority. Applications should be made in writing, giving details of the works proposed. This condition may also apply to hedges.

Forestry Acts are aimed at woodland owners rather than the urban or village garden. The acts require consent from the Forestry Commission via a 'Felling Licence' where an owner wishes to fell timber, although a very limited quantity may be felled without such a licence.

Advice and support

For enquires relating to Tree Preservation Orders and Trees in Conservation Areas, email: TStringer@swindon.gov.uk.

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