CS31: Legal Constraints (TPOs)

In the previous post I briefly mentioned the four legal constraints as written in the CS31 NPTC assessment schedule; and in this post I want to introduce more fully the Tree Preservation Order. There's plenty of information about this on the 'net including the updates and amendments, so all I want to do is to try and give you a flavour of what it's about.

Find out more after the jump...

The Tree Preservation Order (hereafter just called TPO so that I don't have to keep typing it out in full!) is designed to provide a level of protection for trees and woodland that have amenity value. The TPO is part of the Town and Country Planning Act, and it should be noted that it's used by local authorities in England.

The TPO prohibits the...

  • cutting down

  • uprooting

  • topping

  • lopping

  • wilful damage, or...

  • wilful destruction

...of any tree that has had a preservation order placed upon it by the local authority (note that this also includes tree roots). Interestingly, the Act does not define what a 'tree' is; or indeed a 'woodland' for that matter! In essence, if it would be normal to call it a tree, then it's a tree for the purposes of this, however shrubs, bushes and hedgerows are not covered. There is no minimum size for a tree, and it can include fruit trees, but this is dependent upon the amenity value.

A TPO can be placed upon a tree after it has been assessed for it's value, the individual impact and the wider impact on it's surroundings. A TPO can apply to an individual tree, a group of trees, or an entire woodland.

In order to work on a tree that is protected, one has to apply to the local planning authorities tree officer; there is [now] a standard application form and this must be completed showing the work to be carried out and a plan of exactly which tree, or trees, are to be worked on. The authorities can then assess the impact of the proposed work and allow, amend or deny the request.

And that's about it really - if you want to know more about TPOs, check out this PDF document Tree Preservation Orders: A Guide To The Law And Good Practice.

- DriveLink -

CS31: Legal Constraints Intro

Although the CS31 small fell assessment barely mentions the legal and environmental constraints, it is included in the assessment; just at a very superficial level. I wanted to talk a little bit more about the legal constraints that surround felling, just so that you have a little background knowledge on the answers that the assessor will be looking for!

Find out more after the jump...
Firstly, let's just take a quick peek at what the assessment schedule says; which at the time of writing was written in June 2010. You can download the PDF version of this assessment schedule freely from the NPTC website: NPTC CS31 Assessment Schedule. In fact, as we work our way through it over the coming months it might be handy to have a copy of this handy.

The assessment schedule says that you should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the following four legal constraints with regard to felling:

  • Tree Preservation Orders (TPO's)

  • Conservation Areas

  • Felling Licences

  • Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981

Whilst those are the answers, over the next four articles we'll take a quick peek at each of them. I'm not going to go into huge depth with any of these, but I'll hopefully provide you with a basic understanding of what they contain and how it relates to felling.

- DriveLink -

CS31 - Felling small trees...

Whilst my work here is almost done with CS30 (chainsaw maintenance and cross-cutting), the next big thing to tackle is going to be felling. Undertaking the NPTC CS31 Fell & Process Small Trees is not to be under-estimated, and there's really only one way to ensure that you pass... practice.

Find out more after the jump...

But there's so much more than just practicing your felling cuts, there's legal and environmental issues, how to deal with trapped saws, setting up escape routes, brashing and removing buttresses, snedding and delimbing, perhaps a bit of winch work thrown in for good measure too; and the list goes on to include a heap of safety bits and bobs...

In this next series of articles, we'll be taking a look at the whole range of issues concerned with passing your small fell (CS31) assessment. I'll try to include video, podcasts, images and text articles in order to help you through. Remember, you can contact me through the comments page if there's something that you'd really like to discuss.

Cheers. DriveLink.