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Tree Preservation Orders

Navigating Tree Preservation Orders: Your Rights and Responsibilities

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) are instrumental in maintaining the green vibrancy and diverse ecosystems of Bournemouth. These legal directives, issued by the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council, protect individual trees, groups of trees, or woodlands that significantly enrich their surroundings. Understanding TPOs, their importance, and how to navigate your responsibilities and rights pertaining to them is crucial for harmonious living within our treasured landscapes.

Understanding and Interacting with TPOs

TPOs are granted based on a tree’s value to the community, considering factors like size, shape, rarity, historical importance, and their unique contribution to wildlife. However, community members can participate in this process. If you recognise a tree’s worth, you can propose it for TPO protection by submitting an application via the BCP Council website. Each recommendation is rigorously assessed by the council’s Tree Officers.

Disagreeing with a TPO: What Can You Do?

If a TPO is issued and you disagree with the order, you have the right to object. Upon notification of a TPO, you have 28 days to submit a formal objection in writing. Your objection should clearly state your reasons and, where possible, provide evidence to support your case. The BCP Council will consider all objections before confirming the TPO.

Managing a Dead or Dangerous Tree under a TPO

If a tree under a TPO is dead or dangerous, you’re allowed to undertake work on it to alleviate the immediate risk. However, it’s important to notify the BCP council as soon as practicable before the work begins, usually by submitting a five-day notice. You should provide sufficient information to enable the council to assess the tree’s condition, such as a report by a tree surgeon or photographs of the tree. Failure to notify the council could lead to legal action, as it would be considered as unauthorised work on a protected tree.

Navigating the Responsibilities of TPOs

Being a custodian of a tree with a TPO is a privilege that comes with responsibilities. Routine maintenance that does not significantly alter the tree’s health or appearance typically does not require permission. However, substantial works, like pruning or felling, need formal consent. Any unauthorised work on a protected tree could lead to prosecution and substantial fines.

TPOs as Guardians of Bournemouth’s Green Heritage

TPOs represent the collective commitment to preserving our cherished landscapes and biodiversity. By understanding and abiding by these orders, we can all play our part in sustaining our tree-lined streets, parks, and gardens, contributing to the beauty and health of Bournemouth for generations to come.

Join the Conversation

The Bournemouth Observer values the insights and experiences of our readers. In light of the topic discussed, we invite you to share your thoughts and experiences about Tree Preservation Orders in our areas. Whether you’ve had personal experiences with TPOs, disagree with a TPO, or have navigated the process of maintaining a protected tree, we’re eager to hear from you. Please share your thoughts, suggestions, or questions in the comment section below. Your voice matters in these discussions that impact the future of Bournemouth’s treasured landscapes.

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