Derby Forests and Trees
The County of Derbyshire houses 19,500 hectares of woodland across its 262,500 hectares of land, equating to 7.2% of tree coverage over the land. The figure has increased by 2% over the last two decades, and currently, Derbyshire County is classed as 77% rural. Despite that, the City of Derby is distinctly weak in terms of the number of trees and overall environmental quality.
Across Derby, there are 255,000 trees and a lacklustre tree canopy cover of 8%. To put this into perspective, the average tree canopy cover in the UK stands at 16% and other cities in England are much closer to this figure. For example, tree canopy covers in Birmingham, Liverpool, London and Manchester are at much stronger figures of 19%, 16.2%, 21% and 15.5% respectively.
Spanning over 900 hectares, Derby City has 375 parks and open spaces. All trees within these areas will be protected, and tree protections may be applicable to certain individual trees or sets of trees elsewhere in Derby. Independent and government-led initiatives pledge to significantly increase the number of trees in Derby, and between protections over existing trees and intentions to plant more trees, Derby City Council would surely do anything to prevent unnecessary disruption to trees in the city.
Regardless of location, a development site can contain any number of trees, and if they are protected, it can cause a major interference on any planned development works. A tree survey conducted by a professional arboriculturist, however, will satisfy the local planning authority, allowing the project to continue and supporting planning applications.
Laws Protecting Trees
Under strict laws, local councils all over the country are able to protect certain trees. More specifically, local authorities can place single trees under a tree preservation order (TPO) or sets of trees within a chosen zone under a listed conservation area. Derby City Council also enforce these rules, with a section on their website dedicated to tree protections.
Trees under tree preservation orders (TPOs) and situated within conservation areas prevent anyone without prior consent from cutting them down, damaging them, pruning their branches or roots, or uprooting them. Part of what makes a tree survey so crucial is that it acts as an opportunity for an arboricultural consultant to review all trees, and if any are under existing protections, they can mitigate accordingly.
Professional Analysis of Trees
An arboricultural surveyor will usually start the assessment process with a BS5837 tree survey – a baseline analysis of all trees present within a plot of land. On a set date, an arboriculturist will attend the development site and mark every tree down with a grading based on condition and value. The grading system will then lead to a decision for each tree using a predetermined and universal mitigation hierarchy.
As a priority outcome, trees in good condition, possessing value or unlikely to cause obstructions to the development plans will be retained. The secondary outcome will be to relocate valuable trees on the site to other areas of the site or locations off-site if they are causing an unavoidable hindrance to the development plans. An absolute last resort will be to destroy trees, but only if they are not worth keeping or if they pose a risk to health and safety.
Once all trees have been inspected and handed a grading, the arboricultural consultant will detail the results of the assessment in a tree survey report. It will also include information about the BS5837 assessment and recommendations for further surveys that may be needed on the site. The developer can then pass on the tree report to the planning officer from the local planning authority, easing any qualms to simplify the application for planning permission.
Professional Tree Surveyors
At Arbtech, we only hire arboricultural surveyors who are sufficiently qualified and licensed, and we also put an emphasis on working with professionals who hold positive personal attributes that push them to produce the highest possible standard of service to clients. Our arboriculturists are also situated all over the country, providing clients with an opportunity to book a tree survey in Derby, wider Derbyshire, and almost any other part of the UK.
To take the first step, speak to our team over the phone or online, and give them as much detail as possible in regards to your development site and planning project. We will then send you a free quote, and if you decide to move forward, we can work with you to find a suitable time to visit your site, appease the conditions of your local council, and get your project through planning.