Other legal controls that apply to felling

Tree Preservation Order (TPO)

TPOs are made by the local planning authority, usually a local council, to protect specific trees and woodland from deliberate damage and destruction. TPO’s prevent the felling, topping, lopping or uprooting of trees without permission from the planning authority.

Felling trees with a TPO in Scotland

If you apply to fell trees covered by a Tree Preservation Order, Forestry Commission Scotland will inform you that the application has been sent to the local authority with comments. The planning authority will decide whether to grant the necessary permission.

Conservation Areas

The applicant must give the local authority 6 weeks notice in writing, along with a map detailing the area, before starting work to cut down, top, lop or uproot a tree in a conservation area. This work must be completed within 2 years or another notice is needed.

Hedgerow Regulations

Permission may be required under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 if trees in a hedgerow are to be felled to remove the hedgerow.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest and scheduled Ancient Monuments

Contact the following organisations to carry out work on these sites:

Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Scottish Natural Heritage www.snh.org.uk

Ancient Monuments

Movement of timber

Regulations exist to prevent the spread of pests and diseases of trees. Under plant health legislation, you may have to attach a 'Plant Passport' to consignments of wood before they can be moved.

Only registered forestry traders issue plant passports. These can be incorporated into the delivery note or issued as a separate document.

In cases where there is no risk of spreading tree pests, timber movements are exempted from these requirements. If there is any doubt, you must check with Forestry Commission Scotland Plant Health Service (Tel: 0131 314 6414, Fax: 0131 314 6148) before you move any wood. Further information on the Plant Health Service is at www.forestry.gov.uk/planthealth.

Forestry legislation

The following legislation applies to felling:

  • Forestry Act 1967 (Part II) as amended by the Trees Act 1970 and the Forestry Acts 1979 and 1986.

  • The Forestry (Felling of Trees) Regulations 1979 (SI 1979 No 791) as amended by the Forestry (Felling of Trees) (Amendment) Regulations 1987 (SI 1987 No 632).

  • The Forestry (Exceptions from Restriction of Felling) Regulations 1979 (SI 1979 No 792) as amended by the Forestry (Exceptions from Restriction of Felling) (Amendments) Regulations 1985 (SI 1985 No 1572) and by the Forestry (Exceptions from Restriction of Felling) (Amendment) Regulations 1988 (SI 1988 No 970).

  • The Forestry (Modifications of Felling Restriction) Regulations 1985 (SI 1985 No 1958).
    The Plant Health (Forestry) (Great Britain) Order 1993 (SI 1993 No 1283, as amended by SI 1994 No 3094, SI 1995 No 1989, SI 1996 No 751, SI 1998 No 2206, SI 1998 No 3109, SI 2001 No 299, SI 2002 No 295).

  • The Watermark Disease Local Authorities Order 1974 (SI 1974 No 768, as amended by SI 1984 No 688, SI 1986 No 1342 and SI 1992 No 44).

  • The Dutch Elm Disease (Local Authorities) Order 1984 (SI 1984 No 687, as amended by SI 1988 No 604).