Some trees and hedgerows are protected. You need our permission before you do any work on them

Protected Trees

Trees can be protected in three ways:

1. Protection by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)
2. Protection by virtue of being located within a Conservation Area
3. Protection by virtue of a condition(s) being attached to an earlier planning permission relating to the site.

So before doing any work, you should contact our Development Control Team to clarify whether the tree(s) are affected in one or more of these ways.

There are over 500 Tree Preservation Orders that are in force in North West Leicestershire, which you can view on our list Tree Preservation Orders as of 1 September 2023 (PDF Document, 0.73 Mb)

For consent to carry out works to trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order or within a conservation area, you can download the relevant form (PDF Document, 0.54 Mb) and Tree Guidance Note (PDF Document, 0.18 Mb), or apply online via the Planning Portal.

If you consider that a tree is worthy of protection, please write to us identifying the tree(s) in question and outlining why you consider it should be protected.

The Forestry Commission regulates the felling of trees in woodlands and it is an offence to fell trees without a licence, if an exemption does not apply. More information can be found on the Forestry Commission's website

The Government's website provides further advice on tree protection issues - including a guide to tree preservation procedures


Under the terms of the Hedgerow Regulations 1997, you also need our approval for the removal (in whole or in part) of hedgerows where they are on, or run alongside:

  • agricultural land
  • common land
  • land used for forestry
  • land used for the breeding or keeping of horses, ponies or donkeys
  • a Local Nature Reserve or Site of Special Scientific Interest (details of LNRs and SSSIs can be viewed on the Natural England website).

This is simply a general guide to the circumstances in which approval is required. Further advice is  on the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website.

To apply to carry out work to a hedgerow the relevant form, download and complete a Hedgerow Removal Notice and guidance notes.

Dangerous Trees

From a legal point of view, the responsibility to remedy a hazard rests solely with the tree owner and not the Council.  As such it is the tree owners responsibility to carry out whatever work is necessary to make a tree safe in an emergency situation. If you feel that a neighbour's tree may cause a danger to you or your property, we advise you to approach your neighbour directly and seek the advice of a qualified professional.

Dangerous Trees which are Protected

As set out above, the resposibiltiy to remedy a hazard rests solely with the tree owner and not the Council.  Any work to remove a hazard must be the minimum necessary.  This can be only done without going through an application process if the tree or branch is deemed dangerous. If this is the case you must inform the Council by giving written notice via email to and you must provide evidence of the hazard to the Council.  Such evidence includes photographs of the damage and the Council will provide confirmation within 5 days.

You should also keep your own records of evidence, should you be challenged so that you can prove the works undertaken were necessary in the interests of safety to make the tree safe.  The council also maintains a record of all reported and confirmed dangerous trees/branches.

Persons who own and/ or carry out works to protected trees under the guise of safety works without notification to the Council or sending in evidence could be liable to prosecution.

Trees Blocking your Light and High Hedges

In general if a neighbour’s tree is blocking your light you can't force them to cut it down or prune the tree, however there is legislation to deal with this issue for some high evergreen or semi-evergreen hedges if they are deemed to be "high hedges"   Please see the Council's webpage on High Hedges.  Please contact the Council's Environmental Health Team for more information.  There is legislation to deal with this issue; details can be viewed on the Government's website.

Trees Overhanging your Property

If a neighbour's tree of hedge is growing over into your property and is not protected (see list 1-3 above) you are not able to make them cut it back, but you do have the right to remove any remove overgrowing branches yourself, but only back to the common boundary (eg. your fence) and any cuttings must be offered back to the tree or hedge owner.  This does not give you permission to go on to your neighbours land to undertake the cutting back.  

Roadside Trees

Trees on roadside verges, roundabouts and pavements are usually the responsibility of Leicestershire County Council who are also responsible for monitoring privately owned roadside trees and liaising with tree owners when maintenance works are required.

Council and Parish Council Owned Trees

The Council's Parks Team manage trees in the Council's Parks and Open Spaces, whilst Parish and Town Council's are responsible for their own Parks and Open Spaces.

Further Tree Information

The Woodland Trust site contains a wide range of information on trees, including a Guide to Native and Non-Native Trees.

Last updated: Thu 21 September, 2023 @ 12:16