Shotteswell is a Conservation Area, as such there is a requirement to apply for works to trees.
Trees in a conservation area
A Conservation Area is designated primarily because it is an area of special architectural and historical interest the character of which is desirable to preserve. Trees are an essential element to the established character of such areas and because of this they are included within the Conservation Area regulations (with certain exceptions).
Within a conservation area there are restrictions to the work that may be carried out on trees, including fruit trees as from 1999. Notice must be given at least six weeks notice in writing before works are carried out to most trees within conservation areas. This allows enough time to give consent for the work or to place a tree preservation order on the trees. The notice must describe:
- which trees require work
- their location
- the nature of the work
- the reasons for doing it
You do not need permission if you want to work on trees less than 7.5cm in diameter or less than 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter (measured at 1.5m off the ground) if removal is to improve the growth of other trees.
However, ensure that the saplings are not subject to a Tree Preservation Order. If you are in doubt contact the Tree Officer. There are exceptions to the regulations but you are advised to give five day’s notice before you cut down a protected tree. This is in your interest – you could be prosecuted if SDC think you have carried out unauthorised works.
You must give SDC six weeks written notification of your intent to work on tree(s) in a Conservation Area unless:
- The tree is dead.
- The removal of dead wood only from an otherwise healthy tree.
- Where works are urgently necessary to remove an immediate risk of serious harm ( a written notice giving at least 5 days notification is normally required prior to the date on which the works are to be commenced).
- You are obliged to carry out work which is compliance with any obligation imposed by or under an Act of Parliament.
- At the request of a statutory undertaker. Most commonly, this applies to trees that overhang a public road where you have an obligation to maintain statutory clearance of the road.
- The work is approved within a full planning permission. Note that this does not apply to outline planning permission or to permitted development rights.
- The work is to be carried out by or on behalf of the Forestry Commission, is works done by anyone in accordance with a Forestry Commission scheme or if a felling licence has been granted by the Forestry Commission.
It is to prevent or control a legal nuisance (this is ‘nuisance’ in the legal sense and not in the ordinary sense) – contact the Tree Officer or your solicitor for further advice on this particular issue. Works to trees whose diameter does not exceed 75 millimetres; or where works are carried out for the sole purpose of improving the growth of other trees, of a tree whose diameter does not exceed 100 millimetres.
If you deliberately destroy a tree, or damage it in a manner likely to destroy it, you could be fined up to £20,000 if convicted in the Magistrates’ Court. In determining the amount of the fine, the Courts will take into account any financial benefit arising from the offence. For other offences you could be fined up to £2,500.
Warwickshire County Council recognise that green garden waste is a useful resource for gardeners and have sought Government funding for a wood chipping service.
There are sound environmental reasons for keeping your chipped, green waste and using it in the garden. Landfilling garden waste contributes to the creation of methane gas which is a potent greenhouse gas thought to contribute to climate change. Also by using your very own chippings as a mulch you will reduce the need to buy chemical weed controls for the garden.
Wood chipping service provided by WCC
- Residents must be present at all times for Health and Safety reasons;
- Garden waste for chipping is to be left by residents in an area with vehicular access for the operator;
- Garden waste must be no greater than 13cm (5 inches) in diameter;
- Chippings will be left with the resident in plastics bags supplied as part of the chipping service. They will NOT be taken off site.
- Material that is unsuitable to chip will be left for the householder to deal with (eg processed or treated wood such as pallets or fence posts).
- Subsidised service is available weekdays (Monday to Friday) by appointment;
- Book by phoning 01926 738827 between 9.00am – 12.15pm (answer phone outside these hours);
- The cost of each visit (maximum 1 hour) is £20.00. Please note : price increase from 1st April 2013 to £25.00.
The chippings can be used as a mulch. Mulches are an excellent way of:
- Controlling weeds and clearing ground. They work by depriving weeds of light, which they need to grow;
- Mulches are placed on the surface of the soil and can vary from light excluding membranes to loose shredded prunings. To ensure success it is important to use the appropriate mulch for your particular needs;
- Woody prunings and other woody material produced in the garden (excluding manufactured wood products), can be chipped for use as mulch. These are best heaped up to compost for a few months before use on planted areas. Composting will darken the colour of mulch, giving it a more attractive appearance. The addition of nitrogen rich material such as grass mowings, nettle liquid and nitrogen rich manures to the heap of shredded material will help speed up the process. Why not consider buying a discounted composter through our county wide scheme;
- Mulch should be applied after any compost and organic fertilisers have been added to the soil. It should always be applied to warm, moist and weed-free soil;
- When using loose mulch such as your chippings, top up as required (usually every year or two) to maintain a minimum 100mm weed-suppressing layer.