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Trees and hedgerows in North Dorset

Enquire about a tree

If you have a query about a Tree Preservation Order, a tree in a park or public space, a tree on a pavement or verge, or just wish to discuss a tree in Dorset, complete our online enquiry form.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and conservation areas

The council is responsible for making TPOs in North Dorset and has a statutory responsibility to protect trees on development sites.

TPOs may be made in respect of individual trees, groups of trees or whole woodlands in the interest of preserving public amenity. Where trees are protected, it is a criminal offence to damage them or to carry out work to them without prior consent from the council.

If you are planning to carry out work to any tree(s) within a conservation area you must give us 6 weeks notice. To find out if your property lies within a  conservation area, contact the Environment Team.

Make an application to carry out work to a tree

Apply and make payment online if you want permission to carry out work to trees within a conservation area or that has a TPO.

To find out whether your tree is covered by a TPO or for information on how to apply to carry out works to trees within conservation areas that are not covered by a TPO, contact the Environment Team.

Trees and development guidelines

Visit the trees and development guidelines page.

Tree warden scheme

The tree warden scheme aims to pull together enthusiasts with different backgrounds to form and effective network of people concerned about trees. Tree wardens are people appointed by their community group, residents association, parish council, or community council to gather information and to encourage practical projects relating to trees in the community.

Why are tree wardens needed?

Over the years there has been a great reduction in woods and hedgerows due to disease, neglect, urban sprawl and storms. This has made everyone realise that action is needed now if future generations are to enjoy and benefit from trees in our towns, cities and countryside.

Tree wardens help to:

  • gather information
  • liaise with the community
  • work on practical projects
  • protect trees

Hedgerow regulations

The hedgerow regulations aim to protect important hedgerows in the countryside, by controlling their removal through a system of notification. Any landowner who wishes to remove a hedgerow must serve a Hedgerow Removal Notice in writing to the local authority. 

To apply to remove a hedgerow you need to complete and return a  hedgerow removal application form or contact the Environment Team.

Find out more about hedgerow regulations.

Amenity Tree Planting Grants for North Dorset

North Dorset District Council (NDDC) gives small grants for amenity tree planting projects which provide communities with an opportunity to improve amenity tree and wildlife value of the local landscape.


Anyone can apply for a grant. The nature of your organisation will influence how much you get. Voluntary organisations may get up to 100% help whilst private individuals and businesses may receive up to 50%. Grants are not normally more than £250 per scheme.

Grants are there to improve the quality of NDDC natural landscapes and environment. The following operations are beneficial and will be eligible for inclusion in the grant application:

  • tree planting that contributes to the character of the landscape
  • new planting areas for amenity
  • management of important or veteran trees i.e. remedial tree surgery
  • habitat restoration

Apply for a grant

To apply, either:

Offer of grant

Once the scheme has been agreed the council will make an offer in writing. This is subject to conditions to control the work to the council's satisfaction. They will not make an offer unless you have received all consents that may be necessary under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. If the work is not on your land, then you will need evidence of consent from the landowners.

Payment of grant

Funds will be released once the work has been completed to the satisfaction of the council and upon the submission of receipted accounts. In certain circumstances the funds may be released in instalments as work progresses. The grant will get paid to the contractor who carried out the work.

General conditions of grant aid

Planting is to be carried out to the council satisfaction - guidance specific to the site will be given in the offer. Any trees that die in the first season will need to be replaced at the applicants cost. The council will recover the grant, or part if trees fail due to lack of proper maintenance within 2 years after planting.

The high hedges act

The local authority (LA) may take action against the owner of a property where such a high hedge is growing, if the hedge forms a barrier to light or access, so that the owner or occupier of a neighbouring property has his reasonable enjoyment of that property adversely affected. Formal action by the LA could require the owner of the hedge to reduce its height to a maximum of 2 metres. The LA could not require the hedge to be completely removed. The cost of making an application to the LA is £465 (This is non refundable).  This fee may vary between LAs.

For more information contact the environment team.

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