The importance of Trees and Woodlands in Bath and North East Somerset
Trees are an important part of our natural life support system. They have a vital role to play in the sustainability of our urban and rural areas. Trees benefit:
the local economy by creating potential for employment, encouraging inward investment, bringing in tourism and adding value to property;
the local environment by reducing the effects of air pollution and storm water run off, reducing energy consumption through moderation of the local climate, and providing a wide range of wildlife habitats;
the social fabric in terms of recreation and education
Bath & North East Somerset Council have responsibility for trees in the district in two different ways, either by having direct responsibility for them by owning them or by administering statutory measures that protect private trees which can be in the form of Tree Preservation Orders, Conservation Area designations or through conditions attached to planning consents.
Woodland Opportunity Mapping
Our Woodland Opportunity Mapping Tool has been developed for us by Consultants LUC and is an important evidence base which underpins our aspirations for doubling woodland cover by 2050 using the key principle of “Right tree/woodland, right place”.
The tool is presented as a Storymap which shows how the mapping has been developed as well as presenting interactive opportunity maps for different size ranges of woodland from small through to large scale.Our mapping is unique in that it combines more commonly used constraints such as ecologically important sites and heritage sites, with an assessment of the effect of different scales of woodland planting on different landscape characters. The result is much more useful in finding the right landscapes for the right type of woodland.
Trees and Planning
Trees can be protected by a Tree Preservation Order. Getting a tree protected is a planning process, please see Tree Preservation Orders website for more information. Anyone who owns a tree in a conservation area will be required to notify B&NES Planning if they wish to do works to a tree in a conservation area, see Trees in Conservation Areas website for more information. Applications and notifications for tree works are published online on the Planning Register (you can select by Application Type in Advanced Search, or view a Weekly List). Information provided on applications and notifications and accompanying drawings and documents will be made available on the internet, see B&NES Planning Privacy Notice.
Parks and Estates Team
The Tree Managers in the Parks and Estates Team manage approximately 32,000 trees growing on council owned land within the district. We also manage over 100 hectares of woodland and implement new tree planting schemes.
If you have a query relating to a tree in a council owned park, open space, cemetery, allotment, woodland, car park or on the public highway you can report it here. Responses to frequently asked questions can be found on our website.
The Council also has a level of responsibility in relation to private trees in falling distance of a public highway. We may be able to advise or take direct action if a tree is causing a hazard to highway users - if you have concerns over such a tree please contact the tree managers as above.
The Parks and Estates Team are not directly responsible for managing trees on school sites, children’s centre’s, Curo housing estates (formerly Somer Housing) or Sirona sites. Please contact the relevant site staff as below:-
Schools – contact the school directly, contact details can be found at http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/schools-colleges-and-learning/find-school
Childrens Centres – contact the Childrens Centre directly, contact details can be found at http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/children-young-people-and-families/childrens-centres
Curo –http://www.curo-group.co.uk/contact-us/ Phone 01225 366563
How do we maintain our trees?
The Council actively maintains its tree-stock to ensure it is healthy, safe, diverse and long lasting. We inspect our trees regularly and we prune or fell trees only where necessary and for sound arboricultural/risk management reasons. Our decision making is tree and site specific however we do have some general principles. We will plant more trees than we fell each year and we will prioritize tree pruning actions to resolving tree safety issues over perceived nuisance.