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Tree preservation orders and hedgerow removals

There are a number of trees and hedgerows within the City and County of Swansea that are protected and require permission before you carry out any work on them.

We are responsible for managing all elements of the tree preservation process including the making and monitoring of TPOs (Tree Preservation Orders), any subsequent applications for works to protected trees and taking any action against any offences under the orders.

We are also responsible for Section 211 notices that are required for work proposed on trees situated within the boundaries of the Conservation Areas and for the protection of rural hedgerows covered under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997, and can give advice to members of the public, businesses and other organisations on all issues relating to protected trees. 

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)

There are over 560 separate Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) within the City and County of Swansea boundaries covering individual trees, groups of trees, 'areas' and woodlands. 

Many of the older orders date back to the 1950s and 60s and occasionally require modification or revocation. 

Tree works application forms can be found by selecting City and County of Swansea from the list of local authorities on the Planning Portal - My Planning ApplicationsOpens new window.

Supporting information can be found from the following links:

Additional information on filling in the tree works application formOpens new window

Guidance notes: making an application online via the Planning PortalOpens new window

Protected Trees - general information from the Welsh GovernmentOpens new window 

Notification of proposed works to trees in Conservation AreaOpens new window

Ash Die Back Disease (Chalara)
The following document provides current information on the state of Ash Die Back Disease (Chalara) in the City and County of Swansea and also how it is to be dealt with through the planning and protected trees processes.

PDF Document Information on the Ash Die Back Disease (Chalara) (PDF, 230kb)Opens new window

Hedgerow removal notices

In 1997 new regulations came into force to protect important hedgerows, in particular hedgerows which are more than 20 metres long or which meet another hedgerow at either end. It should be noted that garden hedges are not affected. 

Managed hedgerows are valuable for wildlife supporting a rich diversity of insects, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibian.  In many lowland areas, hedges are the most significant wildlife habitat remaining.  The health of hedgerows is crucial for the survival of many common as well as rarer species.
 
Native hedge plants such as blackthorn, hawthorn, hazel, dogwood and field maple will support many more species than non-native plants such as garden privet, leylandii and sycamore.  In general terms, the more kinds of tree and shrub a hedge contains, the more wildlife it can support due to different flowering and fruiting times.  The most valuable hedges are those that combine a thick and bushy hedge with a sympathetically managed bank, ditch or grassy margin.

Under the Hedgerows Regulations 1997 (SI no 1160):

  • It is against the law to remove most countryside hedgerows (excluding those forming garden boundaries) without permission.
  • To get permission to remove a hedgerow, you must write to us submitting a hedgerow removal notice (see link to application form below).
  • Following your notification if we decide to prohibit removal of an "important" hedgerow, we must let you know within 6 weeks.
  • If you remove a hedgerow without permission, whether it is important or not, you may face an unlimited fine. You may also have to replace the hedgerow.

You need permission to remove a hedgerow if it is on:

  • Agricultural land
  • Common land
  • Forestry land
  • Paddocks
  • Local Nature Reserve
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest

You do not need permission under these regulations if:

  • It is in or borders your garden.
  • You are removing it to get access:
    • either to replace an existing one, (which should be replanted),
    • or where there is no other means of entry or only at a disproportionate cost
  • To gain temporary entry to help in an emergency
  • To comply with statutory plant or forestry health order
  • To comply with a statutory notice for preventing interference with electric lines
  • In connection with statutory drainage or flood defence work to implement a planning permission (except in the case of permitted development rights)

BUT you must check that there are no covenants, planning permissions or conditions requiring the hedges to be retained.

Removal of a hedgerow means grubbing it up and other actions that result in the hedgerow being destroyed. Coppicing, laying and the removal of dead or diseased shrubs or trees are treated as normal management.

Hedgerow works application forms can be found by selecting City and County of Swansea from the list of local authorities on the Planning Portal - My Planning ApplicationsOpens new window.

Supporting information can be found from the following links:

Hedgerow works application - guidance notesOpens new window

Guidance notes: making an application online via the Planning PortalOpens new window

Further information

High hedges - call Environmental Health on 01792 635600

Trees on council owned land - call Parks on 01792 280210

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