Trees in conservation areas

Trees in conservation areas

Trees in conservation areas have protection even if they don't have a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

If you live in a Conservation Area and are planning to carry out work on any trees, legally you must give us six weeks written notice before work begins.

Carrying out unauthorised work on a protected tree is a criminal offence. You could be fined up to £20,000 and will be required to plant a new tree.

Before work begins

Customers are encouraged to make tree work applications using the Planning Portal this is because there is less likely to be any delays over the processing of your application.

Alternatively, you can to apply directly to us by post (we do not accept applications by email).
A full and clear specification (detailed description) of tree works must be provided – we cannot validate unclear applications.
Please use this application form and these guidance notes.

If you are making an application manually, please send it by post to:

Trees and Landscape Officer
South Cambridgeshire Hall
Cambourne Business Park
CB23 6EA

If you need to find out if trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or Conservation Area, you can also search by map on our website.

TPO's are shown as bright blue shapes and Conservation Areas are surrounded by a pink line. Either side of this pink line will be inside the Conservation Area or outside of it. Please be sure to check what side of this line the trees are because it can be easy to get this wrong. TIP – If you untick the ‘applications’ layer it will make the map much clearer by removing all of the planning application red plotting lines.

If you are employing a tree surgeon, they may be able to make the application on your behalf.

The next step:

We will consider your application and let you know if the planned works can go ahead. In some circumstances, we may serve a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) to protect a tree(s). If we do this, we will explain exactly why we have done this and what the TPO means.


Carrying out work on protected trees without our consent is a criminal offence. It can lead to prosecution with fines of up to £20,000. In serious cases offenders may be dealt with by the Crown Court, where an unlimited fine can be imposed.

Guidance about trees and the Law from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

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