Bracknell Forest Council in Berkshire has prosecuted two homeowners and a tree surgeon for severely damaging a protected tree.
The Norway Maple tree was at a property in the Great Hollands South area and was protected by a Tree Preservation Order. In July 2020, Calibra Tree Surgeons pleaded guilty in the Magistrates’ Court to carrying out works on a protected tree contrary to Tree Preservation Order Number 656 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Fines totalling £9,428 were handed down for illegal work on a protected tree and this included costs and a victim surcharge.
The Council said a council tree officer immediately attended the scene on hearing about the works, but the damage was already done – operatives had cut off almost all the branches and foliage, causing significant damage to a once healthy tree.
Councillor John Harrison, executive member for culture, delivery and public Protection said: “This court case highlights the importance the council attaches to protected trees which carry high amenity value, and that we will seek, where appropriate, to prosecute in cases of wilful breaches of tree preservation orders.”
The tree stood at approximately 60ft tall and had a full crown of deep copper red foliage. It was located on a green verge outside the residents’ rear garden wall on their land.