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What you can do

What can you do to protect trees under threat?

Taking action locally

  1. If the tree is ancient or part of an ancient woodland, ensure you have registered it on the Woodland Trust’s woods under threat website
  2. Check to see if any existing legislation can be used to protect the tree. See ancient trees and UK law for more information on this
  3. Tell your local authority Tree Officer how much you value the tree and why, such as for its aesthetic, wildlife or historical character, or for all three. Ask for a Tree Preservation Order to be placed on it, if there is not one already in force
  4. Ask if a proper evaluation of the tree’s value has been undertaken. If no historical or wildlife evaluation has taken place, can a local historian or wildlife group tell you about the heritage value of the tree? Ask for a second opinion from an skilled arboriculturalist with specific experience of ancient trees

  5. If the tree is deemed unsafe, then the objective should be to take as little action as possible, to reduce the risk to acceptable levels. Complete felling is often not necessary and usually a last resort. A dead standing ‘monolith’ can be very useful for wildlife

  6. Tell your local planning office, if a protected wildlife species, will be affected if the tree is damaged or felled

  7. Contact the media to try to get as much publicity as you can for your campaign

  8. Get support from as many other people as possible. Contact the town, community or parish council to see if they will object to the proposals

  9. Write letters to newspapers and the landowner and/or or start a petition

  10. Hold a peaceful protest and invite the media and local councillors along