This service area is concerned with landscape protection and enhancement, tree preservation, hedgerow protection, wildlife and biodiversity and green infrastructure. The service provides landscape advice to other council departments and to external agencies and organisations. You can email the department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01684 272151.
Tewkesbury Borough has a distinctive and varied landscape. Much of the area is rural and includes hills, escarpments, woodlands and flood plains. It contains a wide range of settlement patterns, different types of farmland and historic landscape features. Due to the ecologically diverse nature of the area there are many sites of local, national and some international importance. These are:-
- Area of outstanding natural beauty
- Parks and gardens of special historic interest
- Regionally important geological and geomorphological sites
- Sites of special scientific interest
- Special areas of conservation
Trees are an important part of the borough's environment. They perform a variety of functions in the urban and rural landscape, providing visual amenity, biodiversity, historical heritage and sustainability. Woodlands also benefit the local economy, tourism and leisure. They generally improve our lives and provide extensive benefits to the global environment.
We are committed to the preservation and sustainable management of trees and through the planning process we aim to enhance and develop the resource. Due to their importance planning legislation protects trees, groups of trees and woodlands through the use of Tree Preservation Orders (TPO).
Trees are also protected if they are within a designated conservation area. If you wish to carry out works on a tree in a conservation area please first contact the landscape officer to confirm the designation and if necessary arrange a site meeting to discuss the works prior to notification.
Control of tree felling is administered by the Forestry Commission's licensing system.
An application must be made to the Forestry Commission if more than five cubic meters of timber is to be felled from a land holding in any calendar quarter year. If that timber is to be sold, the amount reduces to two cubic meters. Five cubic meters of timber is roughly equivalent to one large deciduous tree or four to five conifers. This requirement applies even if the trees are in a conservation area or are subject to a TPO.
The Tree Wardens Scheme was set up by the Tree Council in order to enable people to play an active role in conserving and enhancing their local trees and woodland.
Tree wardens are volunteers, appointed by parish councils or other community organisations, who gather information about their local trees, get involved in local tree matters and encourage local practical projects to do with trees and woods.
The tree wardens aid us in looking after tree matters in individual parishes. If you are interested in becoming a Tree Warden please contact your local parish council. Further information can also be found at The Tree Council.
Under the hedgerow regulations 1997:
- It is against the law to remove most countryside hedgerows without permission.
- To get permission to remove a hedgerow you must write to your local planning authority.
- If the authority decides to prohibit removal of an important hedgerow, it must let you know within six weeks.
- If you remove a hedgerow without permission (whether it is important or not) you may face a fine. You may also have to replace the hedgerow.
It should be noted that the regulations do not normally apply to hedges around your garden.
We can deal with high hedges complaints under the anti-social behaviour act. Before submitting a formal complaint to us you should be aware of the criteria:
- The hedge must be made up of two or more trees or shrubs
- The hedge must be over two metres in height
- You must have spoken to your neighbour about the hedge
- The hedge must be evergreen or semi-evergreen
- You must be aware that there is a charge of £500 or £100 to benefit recipients
If your complaint fulfils all the above criteria please contact the landscape officer to register your complaint.
Wildlife and biodiversity
We have a key role to play in working with other agencies to enable the protection and enhancement of biodiversity within the borough. This involves the safeguarding of designated nature conservation sites and protected species as well as working with developers to create landscaping schemes which by virtue of their design strengthen biodiversity.
Further information can be found on Gloucestershire's biodiversity website.
Local nature partnership (Gloucestershire)
In July 2012 DEFRA officially announced a Local Nature Partnership status for Gloucestershire. We are part of this partnership. The overall purpose of an LNP is to:
- Drive positive change in the local natural environment, taking a strategic view of the challenges and opportunities involved and identifying ways to manage it as a system for the benefit of nature, people and the economy.
- Contribute to achieving the Government's national environmental objectives locally, including the identification of local ecological networks, alongside addressing local priorities.
- Become local champions influencing decision-making relating to the natural environment and its value to social and economic outcomes, in particular, through working closely with local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Health and Wellbeing Boards.
Further information can be found on Gloucestershire's partnership website.