tree policy cover image
Tree Policy

Adopted by Wylam Parish Council at its meeting on 10th December 2018

This policy can also be viewed/downloaded as a pdf document.


This policy relates to the felling or pruning of trees growing on land owned or managed by Wylam Parish Council.


  • To protect the public and property from reasonably foreseeable hazards posed by trees.
  • To conserve and promote local biodiversity, local character and visual amenity.
  • To encourage a healthy and sustainable local tree population.
  • To protect Parish Council trees from unnecessary felling, pruning and avoidable damage to the tree above and below ground.


The Parish Council will arrange for walk-over, ground-level visual checks of all the trees on each of the sites it owns at least once a year, looking for evidence of safety concerns, hazards, disease and management requirements. Inspections will pay particular attention to trees that are likely to pose the greatest risk, for example larger trees and those within falling distance of buildings and structures, playgrounds, roads and well-used footpaths.

Reports from the Village Tree Warden will be included in the Minutes of the Parish Council's monthly meetings. 


Where a member of the public reports an allegedly dangerous tree, the Parish Council will arrange for it to be inspected as soon as possible.


Where an inspection reveals evidence that a tree may pose a risk to the public or property, the ParishCouncil will seek advice from a qualified tree surgeon. On professional advice, the Parish Council may decide to monitor the condition and safety of a tree rather than felling or pruning it. Reference will be made where appropriate to the Northumberland County Council tree and woodland strategy “Growing Together” 2015 – 2020.


The Parish Council may decide that felling is necessary for the following reasons.

  • Proven safety reasons, including trees that are likely to cause harm because they are dead, dying, seriously diseased or otherwise structurally unsound.
  • To prevent the spread of harmful diseases or pests in accordance with UK guidance.
  • As part of a site-specific plan to promote biodiversity or visual amenity, including thinning of trees to promote healthy and sustainable growth.
  • In exceptional circumstances, where a tree is growing in an unsuitable location where it is likely to become a legal nuisance, cause unreasonable damage, or prevent the intended use of the land. Examples would include trees growing from within a boundary wall or similar feature, trees on allotments, trees close to the edges of buildings or paths. These trees are often self-sown and vigorous, growing opportunistically in concealed positions.

Agreed tree felling will be carried out by a specialist arboricultural contractor appointed by the Parish Council.


The Parish Council may decide that pruning is necessary for the following reasons.

  1. The four reasons stated above .
  2. To remove branches obstructing or reducing visibility on roads or footpaths.
  3. To promote healthy tree growth and development.

Agreed tree pruning will be carried out by a specialist arboricultural contractor appointed by the Parish Council.


Some work to trees is not essential as per the above categories but can be desirable, often to benefit adjacent land or property owners. A request for “cosmetic” work to a Parish Council tree is unlikely to be approved or funded. Examples would include crown lifting, thinning or reduction to admit more light. These works tend to be labour intensive and may need to be carried out on a regular basis. Requests for work will be considered on their merit and if acceptable without loss of local amenity or biodiversity* the Parish Council may agree and supervise the work, which would be carried out at the cost of the individual(s) who have requested the work.


Where a tree has been felled the Parish Council will replant one or more trees on its land, close to the original if practicable. CONTACT DETAILSFor all issues relating to trees on land owned by Wylam Parish Council:
Tel: 01661 852498
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For all inquiries and requests for work to trees covered by Tree Preservation Orders contact Northumberland County Council: (Trees and Woodlands Officer)
Tel: 0345 600 6400

To report a problem tree, shrub or hedge on highway land or other land owned by the County Council use the Northumberland Council website. Refer to the County’s Tree  Strategy “Growing Together” and their Tree Works Priority Guide. Available online.
Website: https://online.northumberland.gov.uk/

*Note that the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (section 40) imposes a “biodiversity duty” requiring all public bodies to have regard to biodiversity when carrying out their functions.