Trees and hedgerows

Trees are an important part of our towns and villages, as well as the countryside. We conserve our valuable trees and woodlands through Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs).

Tree preservation orders

What is a Tree Preservation Order?

A TPO is an order made by a local planning authority about trees or woodlands. They can be served on individual trees, groups of trees or woodlands. They are used to protect trees and woodlands if their removal or changes to them would have a significant impact on the local environment and its enjoyment by the public.

Which trees are covered by TPOs?

Find out if a tree is protected by:

Cutting down or carrying out work to a TPO tree

The cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping, wilful damage, or destruction of trees without consent is a criminal offence. You must submit an application for consent under the tree preservation order.

Trees in conservation areas

Trees within Conservation Areas are protected. Conservation Areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. As such, work within them is restricted. This includes work to trees. Use our Conservation Areas page to find out if you live in a conservation area.

Cutting down or carrying out work on a tree in a conservation area

Anyone proposing to cut down or carry out work on a tree within a Conservation Area must give us six weeks prior notice. This allows us to consider whether a TPO should be made on the tree, or if work can continue.

You do not need permission if you want to cut down trees less than 7.5 cm in diameter (measured 1.5 metres above the ground) or 10 cm if thinning to help the growth of other trees.

Tree work applications

How do I apply to undertake work on a protected tree?

You can apply online using the Planning Portal or complete the application form email it to or post it to Lake District National Park Authority, Murley Moss, Kendal, LA9 7RL.

Please ensure you give as much information as possible to support your application. You may find the Tree Work Application Checklist helpful or check out the government's Protected Trees - A Guide to Tree Preservation Procedures leaflet (opens in new window)

View Tree Work Applications

Applications made after 1 December 2005 can be viewed online through our Planning Application Search Tool.

Search by:

  • Planning Reference - enter the reference number for example T/2006/0001
  • Location such as Windermere
  • or Description such as tree or woodland

Copies of tree preservation orders

Maps of tree preservation orders are available online on the List of Tree Preservation Orders or our Tree Preservation Order  Search.

If you would like a copy of the full tree preservation order please email with details of the tree preservation order number, title or address for the order you require.

Protected hedgerows

Do I need permission to remove a hedgerow?

If the hedgerow is within or forms part of a dwelling's curtilage boundary, then you do not need to apply for permission. However the removal of other hedgerows may need permission. The links below provide more details on when permission is needed:

What is a Hedgerow Removal Notice?

The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 require that before the removal of certain hedgerows we - as the Local Planning Authority - must be notified with a Hedgerow Removal Notice.

Please complete the Application for Hedgerow Removal Notice Form (PDF) and return it to the address at the top of the form.

We will then consider whether the hedgerow is “important” by assessing the age, archaeological, wildlife, historical or landscape value of the hedge as defined in the 1997 regulations. We will then decide whether its loss would be acceptable.

If within 42 days of receiving a Hedgerow Removal Notice, we consider all or part of a hedgerow should be kept, we can issue a Hedgerow Retention Notice which prohibits the hedgerow’s removal.

Useful hedgerow links