Tree Preservation Orders

The National Park Authority has specific powers to protect trees by making Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs).

A TPO is an Order made to protect trees and woodlands. It can only be used to protect trees and woodlands and it cannot be applied to shrubs, bushes or hedgerows, but an Order may be used to protect trees growing in hedgerows or hedgerows that have grown into a line of trees.

The principle effect of a TPO is to prohibit the cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping, wilful damage or wilful destruction of protected trees.

We may make a TPO if there is a risk of a tree or woodland being cut down or being pruned in a way which will have significant impact on the amenity of the area. Mostly a threat to trees arises through development pressure and we will seek to protect trees of high amenity value when granting or refusing planning permission.

We will only protect a tree or woodland if there is a reasonable degree of public enjoyment of that tree or woodland. A tree would normally have to be visible wholly or partly from publicly accessible land to be protected by a TPO. All types of trees can be protected not just native species.

Trees can be specified in the TPO either, individually, by reference to area, in groups or as woodlands. If a tree has merit in its own right it will be specified as an individual. Area classification is used as an alternative way of specifying scattered individual trees. The group specification is used for trees whose overall impact and quality merit protection. A woodland classification is used for woodlands which have a defined boundary.

The law on TPOs is in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and in the Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation) England Regulations 2012.

The importance of trees in Conservation Areas is recognised in the Act which makes special provision for trees in Conservation Areas which are not already protected by a Tree Preservation Order.

Interactive Mapping

The link provides access to an interactive map which shows both Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas.  You can use these maps to find out if a tree on your land is protected by a TPO, or to see if it’s in a conservation area.

A search is based on location. You can search by entering the nearest settlement name or a postcode. This map is provided for guidance only, before any works are undertaken you should consult the Trees and Landscape Officer on 01626 832093 or trees@dartmoor.gov.uk

Statutory Register

The Authority is required to keep a list of all TPO applications. This register is available to view at the National Park Authority Headquarters at Parke during normal office hours.

Proposed Tree Preservation Orders

If you consider a tree or trees, which have high public amenity value to be under threat, please contact the Trees and Landscape Officer on 01626 832093 or trees@dartmoor.gov.uk.