Tree Work Policy

A Guide for Residents

1. We are in a very fortunate position to live and work in the New Forest area, with thousands of visitors flocking to the region each year to appreciate the lush, picturesque landscapes that surround us. New Milton, Barton-on-Sea and district also benefit from many specimens of tree that have been standing for hundreds of years, far outdating some of the housing in the town.

2. The Town Council is a major landowner in the town which incorporates approximately 20 000 trees. As landowners responsible for trees we have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable harm to people or property. To fulfil this, Town Council trees are proactively assessed on a cyclical basis, through a Tree Management contract with New Forest District Council. We have prioritised categories of sites as below (para. 8), and their Arboriculturist inspects the sites and advises us of the work necessary.

3. Pruning can reduce a tree’s amenity value and cause damage which could lead to decay or disease. A tree’s value is not only aesthetic, collectively they also:

  • control storm water, reducing the risk of flooding;
  • buffer cold winds therefore lower heating costs;
  • conduct carbon sequestration (capture and storage of carbon dioxide);
  • remove air pollutants;
  • increase sense of well-being;
  • provide wildlife habitats;
  • The presence of trees can add from 5-15% to the value of property and up to 27% to the value of undeveloped land.

4. Works instructed by New Milton Town Council will only take place in the following circumstances:

  • As part of our Tree Management contract with New Forest District Council;
  • Statutory works to maintain clearances for paths and roads;
  • To prevent foreseeable injury to persons (assessed by Town Council with NFDC)
  • To prevent foreseeable damage to property (i.e. over hanging roof of house/outbuilding. Subsidence concern must be first addressed to your house insurance company who will make direct contact with us)
  • To improve the growth of other trees.
  • To reduce or prevent the spread of disease or other works in the interests of good tree management.

5. This policy supercedes any previous arrangement of tree maintenance of Town Council land. If the advice is to fell a tree for one of the above reasons, the Town Council will adhere to its own recently adopted Tree Replacement Policy.

6. Circumstances where the Town Council will not prune or fell trees include:

  • Loss of light;
  • Nuisance caused by falling leaves, twigs, cones, fruits, etc.;
  • Loss of TV reception;
  • Honeydew drip or other deposits such as bird droppings;
  • Overhanging branches.

Things you can do

 7.1 Trees that are covered by Tree Preservation Order or in a Conservation Area

Neighbours must seek consent for the work from the Local Planning Authority. Both New Forest   District Council and the National Park Tree Teams have joined forces and are based at Lymington      Town Hall. They can be contacted on 01590 646620.

7.2 Trees that are not covered by a Tree Preservation Order or in a Conservation Area

Neighbours have a right in common law to prune overhanging growth back to the boundary line.

7.3 In both circumstances

Although the land we own is public open space, neighbours cannot enter the land to carry out works to trees without Town Council consent. If employing the services of a contractor for pruning, the tree surgeon will only be able to prune from your side of the boundary. If a neighbour’s actions leave a tree in such a condition that works are needed to make it safe, or damage or injury is caused, they are likely to be liable.   Any works should be kept to an absolute minimum.  Arisings remain the property of the tree owner and by law should be offered back.

It is the Town Council’s policy to decline their return and therefore any arisings should be disposed of appropriately and not be deposited over the boundary.  This can damage trees (preventing root access to air and water), can make tree assessment more difficult (important defects may be invisible beneath piled up arisings) and can also lead to damage of boundary fences.  In most cases it is acceptable to appropriately dispose of arisings, by being taken off site to the green waste area at your local amenity site or removed by your contractor.

8.    Tree Management Cyclical Inspections

Category Inspect every x years Type of land

1

1

Highest use areas, including children’s play parks

2

2

Sports Clubs and high use areas

3

3

Areas of mature Oak, lesser use

4

4

General recreation areas with minimal pathways

5

5

Allotments and densely wooded areas

6

6

All other land parcels