Richmondshire District Council

We implement the regulations governing how landowners manage protected trees, which make an important contribution to the Richmondshire environment

There are two main types of tree protection:

  • Tree preservation orders (TPOs)
  • Protection for trees in conservation areas

While there's no formal definition of a "tree" in legislation, it's generally assumed to have a trunk with a diameter of at least 75mm at a height 1m above ground level, although young and/or newly planted trees can also be protected by TPOs.

Tree preservation order: In practice, we only protect trees with amenity value that are considered to be at risk. Any objections to orders are heard by the planning committee. Trees that are exempt from TPOs are those that are dead, dying, diseased or dangerous and fruit trees grown for the commercial production of fruit. TPOs prohibit the cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping, wilful damage or wilful destruction of trees without our consent.  The maximum penalty for carrying out works to TPO trees without consent is £20,000.

Trees in conservation areas: Notice is required for works to trees that have a trunk diameter of more than 75mm when measured at 1.5m from ground level, or more than 100mm if reducing the number of trees to benefit the growth of other trees. It's an offence to carry out the work within that period without our consent. You must give us six weeks' notice before carrying out work on trees in a conservation area that aren't yet the subject of a TPO. This gives gives us the chance to consider whether a protection order should be made.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is responsible for protected trees in the national park. Email


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