Cross Compliance: Guide to Cross Compliance in England 2015 (GCCE 2015 v1)

GAEC 7c: Trees

(Previously GAEC 16)

You may need to get a licence from the Forestry Commission if you want to cut down (fell) a tree. You must check if a tree has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) and meet any conditions of the TPO. You must also follow the rules about when you can trim or cut trees.

What you must do

You must:

  • follow the Forestry Commission's rules by applying for a licence to fell a tree, where a licence is required
  • contact your local planning authority if the tree has a preservation order or is in a conservation area
  • comply with licence conditions, restocking notices, enforcement notices or directions served on you.

You must not:

  • fell a tree without a felling licence if a licence is required
  • cut down, wilfully damage or destroy, uproot, top or lop any tree protected by a TPO without written consent from your local planning authority
  • cut down, wilfully damage or destroy, uproot, top or lop any tree located in a conservation area without giving 42 days written notice to your local planning authority
  • cut or trim a tree on your farm between 1 March and 31 August (inclusive) each year, except where the tree:
    • overhangs a highway, or any other road or footpath, endangering or obstructing vehicles, pedestrians or horse-riders
    • obstructs or interferes with the view of drivers of vehicles or the light from a public lamp
    • is dead, diseased, damaged or insecurely rooted, and is a risk to human safety;
    • is in an orchard, or
    • the Secretary of State has given written permission to do so in order to enhance the environment, improve public or agricultural access, or for reasons relating to livestock or crop production.

More information

You should read the Forestry Commission's rules about ‘Felling licences’.

Applications for felling licences can be made online.

Local planning guidance on TPOs is available online.


Forestry Commission: 0300 067 4070
Rural Payments Agency: 0345 603 7777

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