Tree and hedge management

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Tree management services are carried out by Amey, who are also responsible for dealing with all enquiries related to our tree stock.

Amey play a lead role in delivering the Trees and Woodland Strategy and our commitment to protect, plant and maintain trees and woodland within Peterborough.

Sustainable systems of management are promoted with the aim of:

  • maintaining or enhancing the tree population
  • facilitating the removal of dangerous or potentially hazardous trees
  • promoting biodiversity and conservation of the tree and woodland eco-system
  • conserving veteran trees with significant ecological, historical and amenity value
  • establishing a tree population with a balanced diversity of age class
  • optimising the use of timber and other products of tree management

Programme of tree works

In order to meet the council’s duty of care we carry out a systematic and thorough survey of all council owned trees.

The first full cycle of tree surveying is in progress, and will follow ward boundaries.

Please note: A list of all planned tree maintenance work and notifications are available 14 days before work starts. If you wish to comment, please contact us.

Tree and Woodland Strategy 2018

The City Council’s Trees and Woodlands Strategy was approved by full Council on 17th October 2018 and forms part of the Council’s major policy framework.

The strategy was an update of the 2012 document which had been extremely effective in putting in place clear process and guidelines as to how the city council will not only discharge its statutory functions in relation to Trees and Woodland, but also its guidelines, or ‘service standards’, in respect of this important resource.

The 2018 strategy, builds on the success of the current strategy, but also provides further clarification on what service the council will offer

The strategy has been drafted taking account of the following key principles:

  • fulfilling our statutory duties (including health and safety)
  • being as clear as possible where the council will and will not provide service.
  • recognition of the vital importance of trees and woodland to our communities, quality of life and ecosystems services.
  • our financial constraints.

Tree safety or nuisance

In order to meet our duty of care under the tree related legislation and case law, we carry out a systematic and thorough inventory survey of all trees under our ownership.

Initial surveys are hoped to identify and address any safety and legal nuisance issues posed by council owned trees. The first cycle of the surveys will be carried out according to geography, the surveyors will move systematically from ward to ward. 

The timing of subsequent surveys will be evidence lead and will depend upon, for example, tree health and condition, or the proximity of targets. Additionally, we are very grateful to receive enquiries relating to any of the following issues:

  • tree collapsing or uprooting
  • splits and cracks in trunks and branches
  • broken branches in crown
  • deadwood in crow
  • bracket fungi appearing from on or around the tree
  • obstruction of access or sightlines (i.e.visibility)
  • branches touching or damaging buildings
  • branches affecting service cables
  • root damage to walls, surfaces and pavings
  • subsidence damage.

A one-off inspection of the tree in question will be carried out and, where appropriate, maintenance work will be carried out.

High hedges

Details about how to complain about a high hedge are available on the noise and nuisances page.

Woodland management

There are three separate woodlands that make up Bretton Woodlands: Grimeshaw Wood, Pocock’s Wood and Highlees Spiney. The woodland management plan sets out a policy that will ensure the integrity of the woodlands are preserved and that management will be on an ecologically sound and sustainable basis. 

Bretton Woodlands Management Plan Review 2019

In 2013 a 20-year Woodland Management Plan was prepared for Bretton Woodlands and, after wide consultation, was adopted and implemented. The plan involved sensitively restoring coppice working in the woodlands to improve the structure and wildlife potential of the area. This led to the establishing of Nene Coppicing and Craft; a community volunteer group that has been responsible for carrying out much of the work. Other work completed during the period has included improving footpaths and access to the woods and carrying out enrichment planting of native species .

The 2013 plan made provision for 5 yearly reviews. The review that has been produced details progress that has been made during the period and also problems that have arisen.

A key change that has occurred during the period is the spread of ash dieback to the Peterborough area and into the Bretton Woodlands. This fungal disease has the potential, over time, to kill the ash within the woods which is a serious problem given that ash forms a major constituent of all three woods.

The review sets out a new management strategy aimed at making the woodlands as resilient as possible by removing failing ash in small areas spread across the woods and replanting with a wider range of native broadleaved trees. The method is designed to limit the landscape impact of disease. The revised proposals will not eliminate ash but over the next five-year period gradually introduce a wider range of species. The small clearance areas will be cut in two phases: half in year 6 and half in year 10. The slow implementation of the strategy will allow time to establish the level of tolerance to ash dieback that may exist in the woodland ash population.

If no management is undertaken it is likely that the woods will become too dangerous for public access. The character of the woods in the landscape would change dramatically. More open conditions would see an increase in regeneration of non-native tree and plant species and a marked deterioration of wildlife habitats within the woods.

Continuing community support is particularly important in the next five years to help maintain Peterborough’s only Ancient Woodlands for the benefit of future generations.

Peterborough City Council consulted on a draft management plan from 5 February to 2 March 2019. All comments were  considered as detailed within the following spreadsheet and the plan modified where appropriate.  A final plan was subsequently produced which will be implemented over the coming five years.

Tree planting

Where trees are regrettably identified for felling, excluding those thinned for sound tree and woodland management, Amey will undertake replacement planting. 

Every effort will also be made to increase in tree cover by introducing new planting, placing great emphasis on use of appropriate tree species. As surveys of each ward are undertaken opportunities for replacement and additional planting will be assessed. Current planting proposals include the following:

Contact us about trees and hedges

If you would like to make an enquiry regarding a tree which you believe to be council owned, please contact customer services.

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