There are a number of ways that trees are protected by law within the UK. These include Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), Conservation Areas, the Felling Licence system, Restrictive Covenants, and planning conditions within the planning system. It is important to find out from your local council whether any legal restrictions apply before you undertake any work on trees as you may be liable to prosecution if permission is not first obtained – The Arboricultural Association has produced a useful guide to Trees and the Law.
Trees, hedges and woodland are an integral part of Devon’s countryside and towns, and they provide multiple benefits to society, including filtering air pollution, reducing surface water runoff /contributing to sustainable drainage, providing wildlife habitats, improving water quality and the stabilising of soils and slopes.
Devon’s hedges are particularly special. They are of great historical importance, define the county’s beautiful farmed landscapes, and support an immense amount of wildlife. Devon Hedge Group provides information on Devon’s hedges are why they are so important for biodiversity and landscape.
Also of special value are Devon’s orchards, Ancient Woodland, veteran trees & ancient pasture woodland as they form part of its historic landscapes, including many historic parkland estates and deigned landscapes. Download the Woodland Trust Ancient Tree Guide which explains what ancient & veteran trees are and why they are important. Also visit the Ancient Tree Inventory, which allows users to search, submit and update records for ancient/veteran trees.
Trees, hedges and woodland are also key parts of our green infrastructure in and around cities and towns – visit the Devon County Council GI strategy