Prosecution for homeowner who "thought TPO was invalid"

Herefordshire Council has successfully prosecuted a man found guilty of undertaking unauthorised works to a tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) - though the tree surgeon involved escaped penalty.

Image: Herefordshire Council
Image: Herefordshire Council

In a case taken to Hereford Magistrates Court by Herefordshire Council’s Conservation team, Lugwardine resident Roy Harrison pleaded not guilty to consenting to unauthorised works to a TPO-protected tree.

The court found Harrison guilty and ordered him to pay costs of £5,000, a fine of £180 and a victim surcharge of £30.

It was put to the court that Harrison attempted to get a protected lime tree on his land cut down for financial gain, in order to clear the site for housing development.

Previous planning applications for housing on the site, separate applications to fell the protected tree and subsequent appeals, had all been turned down.

In May 2017, Harrison employed a tree surgeon to cut down the tree, under the belief that the TPO was invalid. The works were stopped part-way through.

The council said that although the lime tree will likely reform its canopy over time, the unauthorised works may have weakened it.

The tree surgeon was initially interviewed under caution, but no further action was taken.

Marc Willimont, the council's acting assistant director for Regulatory, Environment and Waste, said: "When undertaking works to a protected tree, responsibility lies with the person commissioning the work and the contractor.

"We hope this case will act as a deterrent to anyone who may be considering carrying out unauthorised works to protected trees."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

HW Top UK Arboriculture Businesses

See our exclusive RANKING of arboriculture businesses by annual turnover. 


Build your business with the latest public sector tenders covering landscape, arboriculture, grounds care, production and kit supplies. To receive the latest tenders weekly to your inbox sign up for our Tenders Tracker bulletin here.


Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2019 winners.

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources