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Woodland TPO Specific Species

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I have newly acquired property with an old Woodland TPO (50yeas +) attached to it, that mentions specific species of trees. Unless I am misinterpreting the guidance on Woodland TPOs, W1's seems to include all species of whatever age, however I’m confused then as to why any mention of species would be made. Does that mean only those species mentioned on the TPO, of whatever age, are protected, and trees like Spruce and Holly (which are taking over imo) can be cut down? 

 

The exact wording is:  “W.1.    (Within a continuous black line on the map)   Five stands of Scots Pine in a matrix of hardwoods comprising mainly of Oak and Sweet Chestnut, standing in the grounds of xxx.

Groups of Trees

None”

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It is lovely thanks.  No big plans for it, just want to enjoy the space and the wildlife that comes with it (although the verdict on the deer is still out after the vegetable patch got raided!).  I would like to thin out the spruce and holly to encourage more of the deciduous trees as they appear to be getting crowded out by the aforementioned.

Edited by Birchbark
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Have you had a look through the TPO Guide to the Law and Good Practice? It lays it all out in simpler terms than the act itself, certainly worth a look. It's dated Pre-2012 regs but the matters for your case are pretty much unchanged.

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/14956/tposguide.pdf

 

Particular sections useful to you would be:

 

3.11 During the site visit the LPA officer should gather sufficient information to draw up the TPO with accuracy. The LPA officer should accurately record the number and species of the individual trees or groups of trees to be included in the TPO and their location (see also paragraph 3.14 below). In relation to areas of trees or woodlands it is not necessary for the purposes of the TPO to record the number of trees, and a general description of species should be sufficient. It is, however, important to gather enough information to be able to define accurately on the map the boundaries of the areas or woodlands in question (see also paragraphs 3.15-3.18 below).

 

From this section I would conclude that even those pesky hollies and spruce are protected, so long as they fall within the outlined area on the order plan. Species information on woodland orders is merely supplementary, and does not infer that only the listed species are protected. The purpose of woodland TPOs is to protect the woodland unit as a whole.

 

However;

 

3.16 A woodland TPO should not be used as a means of hindering beneficial management work, which may include regular felling and thinning. While LPAs may believe it expedient, as a last resort, to make TPOs in respect of woodlands they are advised (whether or not they make a TPO) to encourage landowners to bring their woodlands into proper management under the grant schemes run by the Forestry Commission. If, for one reason or another, a woodland subject to a TPO is not brought into such a scheme, applications to manage the trees in ways that would benefit the woodland without making a serious impact on local amenity should be encouraged (see paragraph 6.41 of this Guide).

 

So you should apply, but as long as your intended works are seen as beneficial to the woodland you should have no issues with refusal.

 

You can draw up a woodland management plan if you wish, which if sufficiently detailed in terms of work specification and timings can be supplied with one application to cover multiple operations or phases of work over multiple years;

 

6.41 Only one application is needed to carry out a number of different operations on the same tree (for example, to reduce some branches and lift the crown) or to carry out work on a number of trees (for example, to reduce the crowns of a line of trees). Similarly, a programme of work (such as specific operations which are to be repeated on an annual or regular basis, or a series of operations phased over a period of time) could be submitted as one application. Such applications are in fact encouraged as a means of promoting ongoing beneficial woodland management plans of, say, five years without the need for repeated applications over a relatively short period of time.

 

Hope this helps

Edited by Ben90

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Thanks for your responses, that's really helpful. 

One more question on this:  is rhododendron considered a tree, and therefor protected under a woodland TPO, or a shrub, or an invasive species to be eradicated?  

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A Woodland Order protectes the woodland and the trees that are regen in the years to come, as for thinning out and removing rhodies that is woodland management to benefit biodiversity so I would be very surprised if it was not supported.

I would submit it has an ongoing management plan.

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On 16/05/2021 at 09:47, Ben90 said:

Have you had a look through the TPO Guide to the Law and Good Practice? It lays it all out in simpler terms than the act itself, certainly worth a look. It's dated Pre-2012 regs but the matters for your case are pretty much unchanged.

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/14956/tposguide.pdf

 

Particular sections useful to you would be:

 

3.11 During the site visit the LPA officer should gather sufficient information to draw up the TPO with accuracy. The LPA officer should accurately record the number and species of the individual trees or groups of trees to be included in the TPO and their location (see also paragraph 3.14 below). In relation to areas of trees or woodlands it is not necessary for the purposes of the TPO to record the number of trees, and a general description of species should be sufficient. It is, however, important to gather enough information to be able to define accurately on the map the boundaries of the areas or woodlands in question (see also paragraphs 3.15-3.18 below).

 

From this section I would conclude that even those pesky hollies and spruce are protected, so long as they fall within the outlined area on the order plan. Species information on woodland orders is merely supplementary, and does not infer that only the listed species are protected. The purpose of woodland TPOs is to protect the woodland unit as a whole.

 

However;

 

3.16 A woodland TPO should not be used as a means of hindering beneficial management work, which may include regular felling and thinning. While LPAs may believe it expedient, as a last resort, to make TPOs in respect of woodlands they are advised (whether or not they make a TPO) to encourage landowners to bring their woodlands into proper management under the grant schemes run by the Forestry Commission. If, for one reason or another, a woodland subject to a TPO is not brought into such a scheme, applications to manage the trees in ways that would benefit the woodland without making a serious impact on local amenity should be encouraged (see paragraph 6.41 of this Guide).

 

So you should apply, but as long as your intended works are seen as beneficial to the woodland you should have no issues with refusal.

 

You can draw up a woodland management plan if you wish, which if sufficiently detailed in terms of work specification and timings can be supplied with one application to cover multiple operations or phases of work over multiple years;

 

6.41 Only one application is needed to carry out a number of different operations on the same tree (for example, to reduce some branches and lift the crown) or to carry out work on a number of trees (for example, to reduce the crowns of a line of trees). Similarly, a programme of work (such as specific operations which are to be repeated on an annual or regular basis, or a series of operations phased over a period of time) could be submitted as one application. Such applications are in fact encouraged as a means of promoting ongoing beneficial woodland management plans of, say, five years without the need for repeated applications over a relatively short period of time.

 

Hope this helps

This guidance was withdrawn 9 years  ago so isn’t relevant.  You now need to use:


Explains the legislation governing Tree Preservation Orders and tree protection in conservation areas.

 

 

I know a lot of the info is the same but not all of it. You may as well use the correct document. 


 

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On 13/05/2021 at 10:46, Birchbark said:

I have newly acquired property with an old Woodland TPO (50yeas +) attached to it, that mentions specific species of trees. Unless I am misinterpreting the guidance on Woodland TPOs, W1's seems to include all species of whatever age, however I’m confused then as to why any mention of species would be made. Does that mean only those species mentioned on the TPO, of whatever age, are protected, and trees like Spruce and Holly (which are taking over imo) can be cut down? 

 

The exact wording is:  “W.1.    (Within a continuous black line on the map)   Five stands of Scots Pine in a matrix of hardwoods comprising mainly of Oak and Sweet Chestnut, standing in the grounds of xxx.

Groups of Trees

None”

It’s an old and not very well prepared TPO.  I’m not sure why you would spec hardwoods but I suspect they meant deciduous trees such as oak. Remember though, unless you are in London the council probably didn’t have a TO at that time. It would have been made by a planner who probably wasn’t overly happy about it. I would personally have specified it as mixed broadleaf and coniferous if I wanted to cover everything.  The holly will be protected.  Spruce, not so sure. You should run it by the TO though as you will need to work with them in the future so it would be good to develop a positive relationship. I doubt they will object to your plans. Other than the holly.  Holly is an important understory tree within native woodlands. It provides shelter / nesting sites and food for woodland dependent species. Having a good understory with at least some evergreens also helps maintain higher temps in the winter. 

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