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Trees and Woodland

South Ribble Borough Council is responsible for looking after all the trees on land it owns.

This includes a range of woodlands, parks and other public open spaces.

Trees on land which form part of the "adopted highway" (such as grass verges), are owned and maintained by Lancashire County Council. The county council is also responsible for fallen trees which block roads and footpaths.

You can contact Lancashire County Council Highways on 0300 123 6780 or report an issue to Lancashire County Council online.

Tree protection

The law protects certain individual and groups of trees.

Trees that are subject to Tree Preservation Orders or are within conservation areas are protected under legislation that makes it an offence to fell, prune, uproot or wilfully damage the trees without permission.

Trees that grow on land owned by the council are also protected, as they are deemed as council property and therefore anyone causing damage to them can be prosecuted.

Apply for works to a protected tree or notify us of works to a tree in a conservation area

Advice for private tree owners

If you have a tree on your own land and wish to carry out work on it, it would be useful to consider the following:

  • Always contact the council to ensure that the trees are not protected by a Tree Preservation Order or that they are not within a Conservation Area.
  • Always employ a suitable trained professional Arborist, who is covered by £1m Public Liability Insurance. Always ask for proof of this.
  • Never employ house callers or leaflet droppers claiming to be professional arborists.
  • Reputable arborists will always have some form of professional identification and qualification proof. Always ask to see it.
  • The Arboricultural Association maintains an approved contractor directory - Download the Help and Advice about Choosing a Tree Surgeon PDF 

Woodland management

South Ribble has many ancient woodlands, including Dog Kennel Wood and Cockshot Wood in Bamber Bridge.

Both are protected as designated Biological Heritage Sites. Woods, especially those containing native tree species, veteran trees and standing deadwood, are important since they convey a high biodiversity potential by providing habitat for many plants and animals.

South Ribble Borough Council aims to conserve and enhance these protected areas, and we continue to plant additional woodlands using native species across the borough.

Tree Policy

This policy sets out the Council's approach to the management of trees and woodlands on Council-owned land.

It is intended to act as a point of reference for the public, officers, elected members and professionals to ensure a clear, consistent and structured approach to the management of the borough's trees.

As a Council we recognise the importance of trees in combating air pollution through the sequestering of CO2 and other pollutants and the production of oxygen, we are committed to improving the air quality of our residents and will replace trees on a 'two planted for each one removed' basis. Trees will be planted in line with "The Right Place, Right Tree" policy which will filter out trees that would otherwise grow too big for certain locations.

We have also committed to planting a minimum of 110,000 new trees over the next four years, one for each of our residents.

Read the Tree Policy (PDF) [274KB]

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