Trees and Woodland

Trees on Council land

We own many trees on our greenspaces and pieces of land in Pendle. We are responsible for maintaining them. We could be held liable for any damage or injury caused by a tree we own.

We proactively manage the trees we own - looking at both the risks and the benefits. 

Complaints about trees

Any complaints about our trees are recorded and prioritised.

Complaints that are dangerous or potentially dangerous are dealt with urgently - usually the same day or the next day. Other complaints are inspected within 20 working days.

We will always contact you to tell you what action we are taking. 

Cutting trees down

We don't cut trees down unless it's absolutely necessary. Each individual case is carefully assessed. If we do have to cut a tree down, we plant a replacement tree. However, it might not alwats be the same species, or in the same location, as the felled tree.

Trees can be cut down because:

  • they are dead, diseased or dangerous
  • they are obstructing a right of access, or a public highway such as a road or footpath, and pruning is not enough
  • the tree is causing serious structural damage and pruning is not enough. In these cases, damage to minor structures like garden walls and paving are relatively minor and not enough of a reason. You will have to prove that the tree is causing damage to your property - this could be, for example, shown in a structural engineers report
  • a qualified arborist thinks the size and species is not appropriate for the location of the tree
  • we need to prevent overcrowding
  • development has been authorised

Dead and dying trees are important for the environment, and provide valuable habitats for a range of species. We may leave dead tress alone, if it is safe to do so, and they do not detract from the amentiy value of the area. The amenity value of an area means the things that influence and enhance your appreciation of that area.

Pruning trees

We don't prune trees unless absolutely necessary, and certainly not if it has already been pruned in the last 5 years. Pruning can weaken a tree, and allow decay or diseases to get into the tree. This can then have an impact on surrounding trees. Pruning can often make a tree grow more, to compensate for what it has lost, making the problem worse. 

Any pruning we do is done to British Standard BS 3998:2010 by trained, competent and insured arboricultural contractors.

We can prune a tree if:

  • it is obstructing a public highway or right of way
  • it is causing a legal nuisance to a neighbouring property
  • it is causing structural damage to a neighbouring property. In this case, you will have to prove that the tree is causing damage to your property - this could be, for example, shown in a structural engineers report
  • it is restricting access to a property for maintenance
  • it is in physical contact with a building or roof
  • it interferes with street lighting, highway signage or other services equipment
  • it is obstructing a publically owned CCTV system
  • it needs formative pruning for good arboricultural standards
  • it has dead and diseased branches

We won't prune a because of:

  • falling leaves
  • sap
  • bird droppings
  • blossom
  • leaves falling in gutters, drains or on flat roofs
  • algae on fences, paths or other surfaces
  • its branches are overhanging gardens or garden buildings such as sheds

Trees restricting light to my property

We often get complaints about trees blocking light from properties. Unfortunately, you do not have an automatic legal right to light, unless this right is included in the title of your property.

We won't chop trees down or prune them unless they are blocking daylight from rooms you live in to a severe and unreasonable degree.

Trees causing damage to my property

If you suspect that one of our trees us causing damage to your property, you should contact your home insurance company. They will investigate, and collect any evidence of structural damage. Then you should send a copy of their report to:

Pendle Council
Nelson Town Hall
Market Street

Trees blocking TV and satellite reception

Trees can interfere with TV and satellite signal reception. However, experience has shown that pruning trees does not improve things, and the tree is likely to re-grow quickly.

In most cases, interference can be reduced by either using a booster box, moving the reception equipment, or using cable instead of satellite services.

We won't chop down or prune trees just because they are causing interference, unless you can show that all other measures have been taken, and that work to the tree is the last resort. We will look at each case individually. Any decision made will take into account the amenity value of the tree.

I do not agree with the officers decision. Can I appeal?

If we turn down your request to fell or prune a tree, adjoining property owners can appeal the decision, using the Council's complaints procedure.