Trees make a major contribution to the Derbyshire Dales landscape, whether in the countryside, or in the parks and gardens of our villages and towns.
About Trees and Hedgerows in Derbyshire Dales
Many of the trees may be protected either by being the subject of a Tree Preservation Order; by being situated in a Conservation Area; by the imposition of planning conditions; or by the requirement to obtain a Felling Licence from The Forestry Commission.
The District Council's Arboricultural Officer is located within the Development Management Section of the Council's Regulatory Services Department and is responsible for the conservation of trees and hedgerows in those areas of Derbyshire Dales that are outside the Peak District National Park.
Trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders
The District Council has the power to make a Tree Preservation Order in the interest of amenity particularly where trees are considered to be at risk. Tree Preservation Orders can be made to protect native or ornamental trees whether they be individual trees, groups of trees, areas of trees and/or woodlands. There is no minimum size that a tree has to be included in a Tree Preservation Order.
The presence of a Tree Preservation Order does not necessarily prevent works taking place to a tree. What it does do is make it an offence to wilfully damage, destroy, fell, top, lop or uproot a tree without first obtaining the consent of the District Council. Any work undertaken without consent is an offence liable on prosecution to a fine of up to £20,000 per tree.
If you wish to carry out any work to trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order, you are required to complete the prescribed application form. A copy of the form and guidance notes for its completion can be downloaded below:
- Tree Preservation Order - Application Form (PDF 470KB)
- Tree Preservation Order - Guidance Notes (PDF 184KB)
- Trees Preservation Order - Validation Checklist (PDF 119KB)
If the reasons for carrying out the proposed works include the condition of the tree, ie it is diseased or you have fears that it might break or fall; or the reasons relate to damage to a building, drains, walls or drives, then the application must be accompanied by written supporting evidence from relevant experts.
Trees in Conservation Areas
Anybody wishing to carry out works to trees within a Conservation Area must first serve six weeks notice on the Local Planning Authority in writing. The penalty for not complying with this requirement is the same as that for non-compliance with a Tree Preservation Order. Trees with a stem diameter of less than 75 mm at a distance of 1.5 m above ground level are exempt provided that they are not additionally protected by a Tree Preservation Order. Within the six weeks period the Council will consider whether to make a Tree Preservation Order.
If you wish to carry out any work to trees situated in a Conservation Area, the relevant notification form, guidance notes and validation checklist can be downloaded below:
- Trees in Conservation Area - Application Form [PDF 689KB]
- Trees in Conservation Area - Guidance Notes [PDF 187KB]
- Trees in Conservation Area - Validation Checklist [PDF 122KB]
The Hedgerow Regulations, which were introduced in 1997, gave Local Planning Authorities the power to control the removal of "Important Hedgerows". The Regulations require the owner to serve 42 days notice on the Local Planning Authority of intention to remove a hedgerow. This requirement does not apply to garden hedges. During this period the hedgerow will be evaluated to determine whether it is an "Important Hedgerow" as defined by criteria contained within the Regulations. The Council has the power to serve a Hedgerow Retention Notice on hedgerows classified as being "Important".
If you are considering removing a hedgerow, check with the District Council to see whether a Hedgerow Removals Notice needs to be completed. The Hedge Removal Form [PDF 458KB] is available to download.
Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 gives local authorities powers to deal with complaints about high hedges.
A high hedge is defined as a line of two or more evergreen, or semi-evergreen, trees or shrubs which are two or more metres in height and which block light or access to a domestic property.
However, it should be noted that there is no general requirement for hedges to be cut to a height of two metres.
Provided that you can prove that you have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving any hedge dispute, you will be able to forward your complaint to the Council by submitting detailed forms, supporting evidence and other documentation.
Further information is available on our High Hedges web page.
Trees on Private Land in the Peak District National Park
The Peak District National Park Authority undertakes the planning powers of both County Councils and District Councils. Therefore any queries, that relate to trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders, trees in Conservation Areas, or the removal of hedgerows within the National Park boundaries, should be directed to the Peak District National Park Authority.
Peak District National Park Authority:
Trees on ex-Council Housing Land
In 2002 the Council transferred its interests in its Council Housing stock to Dales Housing Ltd. Any requests for maintenance to trees on land managed by Dales Housing should be directed to the housing association.
Trees in Parks and Public Open Spaces
Trees growing in public parks and public open spaces are managed by the Parks Section of the Council's Environmental Services Department
Trees on other Council-owned Land
Any concerns about trees situated on Council-owned land, excluding Public Parks and Public Open Spaces, should be directed to the Council's Estates Manager on:
For advice on Hedgerow Regulations, Tree Preservation Orders And Trees In Conservation Areas Outside The Peak District National Park:
Derbyshire Dales District Council:
Trees and Landscapes Officer - Chris Payne Tel: 01629 761 244
For advice on Trees Protected by a Derbyshire County Council Tree Preservation Order:
Derbyshire County Council:
Tel:01629 580 000