Forestry Commission logo

Other legal controls

Tree Preservation Order (TPO)
These are made by the Local Planning Authority usually a local council, to protect specific trees and woodland from deliberate damage and destruction. TPOs prevent the felling, topping, lopping or uprooting of the protected tree/trees without permission from the planning authority.

Felling trees within a Conservation Area or covered by a TPO in England
If any of the trees in the application are covered by a TPO or are within a Conservation Area, we will consult the relevant local authority about the application to fell.

You can get more information on TPOs in England by following the link in the right-hand column.

Conservation Areas
The applicant must give the local authority 6 weeks notice in writing along with a map detailing the area before starting work to cut down, top, lop or uproot a tree in such an area. This work must be completed within 2 years or another Notice is needed.

Hedgerow Regulations
Permission may also be required under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 to remove hedgerow trees.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Scheduled Ancient Monuments
Contact the following organisations to carry out work on these sites:

Sites of Special Scientific Interest Website addresses
Natural England*
Ancient Monuments       
English Heritage


*Note: If you are applying to fell trees on a Site of Special Scientific Interest and send us a Supplementary Notice of Operations within a Site of Special Scientific Interest, we may be able to issue Natural England's consent for the work at the same time as the felling licence.

Movement of timber
Regulations exist to prevent the spread of pests and diseases of trees. Under Plant Health legislation, you may have to attach a 'Plant Passport' to consignments of wood before they can be moved.

Only registered forestry traders issue Plant Passports. These can be incorporated into the delivery note or issued as a separate document.

In cases where there is no risk of spreading tree pests, timber movements are exempted from these requirements. If there is any doubt you must check with the Forestry Commission Plant Health Service (Tel. 0131 314 6414) before you move any wood.

Plant Health Service:

Forestry legislation

  • Forestry Act 1967 (Part II) as amended by the Trees Act 1970 and the Forestry Acts 1979 and 1986
  • The Forestry (Felling of Trees) Regulations 1979 (SI 1979 No 791) as amended by the Forestry (Felling of Trees) (Amendment) Regulations 1987 (SI 1987 No 632)
  • The Forestry (Exceptions from Restriction of Felling) Regulations 1979 (SI 1979 No 792) as amended by the Forestry (Exceptions from Restriction of Felling) (Amendments) Regulations 1985 (SI 1985 No 1572) and by the Forestry (Exceptions from Restriction of Felling) (Amendment) Regulations 1988 (SI 1988 No 970)
  • The Forestry (Modifications of Felling Restriction) Regulations 1985 (SI 1985 No 1958)
  • The Plant Health (Forestry) (Great Britain) Order 1993 (SI 1993 No 1283, as amended by SI 1994 No 3094, SI 1995 No 1989, SI 1996 No 751, SI 1998 No 2206, SI 1998 No 3109, SI 2001 No 299, SI 2002 No 295)
  • The Watermark Disease Local Authorities Order 1974 (SI 1974 No 768, as amended by SI 1984 No 688, SI 1986 No 1342 and SI 1992 No 44)
  • The Dutch Elm Disease (Local Authorities) Order 1984 (SI 1984 No 687, as amended by SI 1988 No 604)



Last updated: 31st January 2018