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CA Trees ImageTrees in Conservation Areas


Carrying out work on trees within a Conservation Area

It is a criminal offence to lop, top, cut down, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy a protected tree unless the Council has permitted the work. Therefore, before commencing work on any tree, it is strongly recommended you check the status  by emailing details, including the location and a description of the work you wish to carry out to our tree team.

The Council offers pre-application advice to tree owners, for further information contact our tree team on 01329 236100 ext. 4442 or e-mail

In some circumstances it may also be necessary to obtain a felling licence from the Forestry Commission before felling trees, though this is unlikely to apply to a normal domestic garden.

What is a conservation area?

A conservation area is an area designated by the local planning authority, such as Fareham Borough Council, because of its special character. This is usually done because of the special architectural or historical importance of an area.

How do Conservation Areas affect trees?

Within a conservation area all trees have a level of protection similar to trees covered by a tree preservation order (TPO).

How can you find out if a tree is within a Conservation Area?

Contact our tree team with details of the address, location, and species of the tree.

What must you do if you want to work on a tree in a Conservation Area?

Before working on a tree in a conservation area you must give us six weeks notice in writing of your intention to carry out the work.  You should include details of the exact location of the tree, indicated on a plan, along with details of the species and exactly what work you wish to do. Send your notification to us at Fareham Borough Council, Civic Offices, Civic Way, Fareham, PO16 7AZ.  You can download an application form External Hyperlink and guidance notes from the Planning Portal and we recommended that you use these.

The Council will then consider the impact of the proposed works on the character of the conservation area and local public amenity.  If you have heard nothing within six weeks, or if you have received a letter letting you know that the work is acceptable, you may go ahead with it. If the work is deemed to have an unacceptable impact the Council may make a TPO to protect the tree further.

When can you prune a tree in a Conservation Area without notifying the Council?

All exemptions listed for protected trees in general apply to trees within a conservation area. You must also provide notice of your intention to work on trees that:

Might you have to plant a replacement tree?

If you cut down or destroy a protected tree you will have to plant a new tree if:

What happens if you carry out work on a protected tree without permission?

If you deliberately destroy a protected tree or damage it in a manner likely to destroy it, you could be fined up to £20,000 if convicted in a magistrate's court. For other offences you can be fined up to £2,500. You will also normally have to plant a new tree if the tree was cut down or destroyed.

How else might a tree be protected?

In addition to a TPO and conservation areas there are various other factors which may constrain work to trees, including:

For further information, contact our tree team on 01329 236100 ext. 4442 or e-mail

This webpage is a reasonable summary of the legislation affecting protected trees but the information is brief, limited and offered for guidance only.

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Fareham Borough Council, Civic Offices, Civic Way, Hampshire, PO16 7AZ
Tel: +44 (0) 1329 236100 | Mobile Text/Photo: 07860 098627
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