Cutting down over 50 trees - legal protection ?

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zhuffzilla15
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:41 am

Cutting down over 50 trees - legal protection ?

Post by zhuffzilla15 » Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:17 pm

My parents are part of a wildlife group who own a wooded reserve area and usually go most weekends (as I understand it is a about 11 acres of woodland with building in the middle of the area)

People in the group haven't been down for a couple of months due to the lockdown but on re-opening last week they discovered that one of the neighboring property owners has removed a fence between the properties and felled over 50 established trees on the wildlife groups land.

When my parents told me about what had happened they mentioned that both the police and the forestry commission? had visited but said that there was nothing they could do (Think the forestry commission came to determine if it was ancient woodland or not)

I am not sure what the club have tried legally but it seems they have given up as they were quoted £900 by a law firm just to send an initial contact to the property owner and have decided it would be too expensive to pursue.

I don't know all of the details of the issue as it was mostly second hand but as far as I understand there is no dispute about who owns which bit of land and where the boarders were, so I was really surprised to hear they have essentially decided not to fight this.

I would have thought it would be a simple case of logging a civil case against the property owner, the only thing I can think of is that the neighbor is a wealthy land owner who uses their land as a residential estate and the wildlife group had limited funds.

Has anyone got any ideas about what would normally happen in a case like this and why people would be reluctant to take action?

despair
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Re: Cutting down over 50 trees - legal protection ?

Post by despair » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:00 pm

Surely the trees are all under tree preservation orders ..if not the club nedds to get local vouncil tree officer to slap tree preservation order on the rest to protect them

zhuffzilla15
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Re: Cutting down over 50 trees - legal protection ?

Post by zhuffzilla15 » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:58 pm

despair wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:00 pm
Surely the trees are all under tree preservation orders ..if not the club nedds to get local vouncil tree officer to slap tree preservation order on the rest to protect them
If trees are under a preservation order is that something that makes it easier to seek compensation if this happens again in the future or does it give additional protection?

MacadamB53
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Re: Cutting down over 50 trees - legal protection ?

Post by MacadamB53 » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:22 pm

zhuffzilla15 wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:58 pm
despair wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:00 pm
Surely the trees are all under tree preservation orders ..if not the club nedds to get local vouncil tree officer to slap tree preservation order on the rest to protect them
If trees are under a preservation order is that something that makes it easier to seek compensation if this happens again in the future or does it give additional protection?
felling a tree that is protected with a TPO without first gaining consent from the local authority is a very serious offence - with fines of up to £20k (magistrates) or higher (if it goes to Crown court).

someone who fells 50 protected trees is likely to be flogged (figuratively)

despair
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Re: Cutting down over 50 trees - legal protection ?

Post by despair » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:49 pm

Precisely .....questions need to be asked as to why the trees did not have TPOs on them its an obvious protection

ukmicky
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Re: Cutting down over 50 trees - legal protection ?

Post by ukmicky » Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:42 pm

Go to a different solicitor.

You also need to prove he did it.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

arborlad
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Re: Cutting down over 50 trees - legal protection ?

Post by arborlad » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:20 am

zhuffzilla15 wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:17 pm
My parents are part of a wildlife group who own a wooded reserve area and usually go most weekends (as I understand it is a about 11 acres of woodland with building in the middle of the area)

People in the group haven't been down for a couple of months due to the lockdown but on re-opening last week they discovered that one of the neighboring property owners has removed a fence between the properties and felled over 50 established trees on the wildlife groups land.

When my parents told me about what had happened they mentioned that both the police and the forestry commission? had visited but said that there was nothing they could do (Think the forestry commission came to determine if it was ancient woodland or not)

I am not sure what the club have tried legally but it seems they have given up as they were quoted £900 by a law firm just to send an initial contact to the property owner and have decided it would be too expensive to pursue.

I don't know all of the details of the issue as it was mostly second hand but as far as I understand there is no dispute about who owns which bit of land and where the boarders were, so I was really surprised to hear they have essentially decided not to fight this.

I would have thought it would be a simple case of logging a civil case against the property owner, the only thing I can think of is that the neighbor is a wealthy land owner who uses their land as a residential estate and the wildlife group had limited funds.

Has anyone got any ideas about what would normally happen in a case like this and why people would be reluctant to take action?



If the work was in recent times, they'll almost certainly be in breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Contact any bat or badger group, both have specific protection.

What happened to the trees, it could be theft if they've been removed.

Are you in a Conservation Area?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

cleo5
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Re: Cutting down over 50 trees - legal protection ?

Post by cleo5 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:43 pm

Try contacting the Countryside Commission.
They might advise you..
No one has the right to trespass on someone else's land and cut down their trees.
It is both damage and theft.
What about the fence.?
Was that replaced?

cleo5
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 12:33 pm

Re: Cutting down over 50 trees - legal protection ?

Post by cleo5 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:50 pm

Sorry! meant the CPRE not the countryside commission..
They are a charity that try to protect all things rural including footpaths.

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