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So what can we expect if we find ourselves in breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 act?

 24/11/2015    Last Modified: 15/11/2016

Magistrates’ Courts operate a tiered fines system dependent on the seriousness of the offence. This could be up to £5000 or for the most serious offences an unlimited amount. Other alternative punishments issued by Magistrates’ Courts include a community sentence like unpaid work in the community or up to 6 months in prison (or up to 12 months in total for more than one offence). However a Crown Court could issue an unlimited fine and/or up to two years’ imprisonment.

Of course there are exceptions for safety:

An authorised person (i.e. someone who has the written consent or the owner or occupier), may fell or prune a dangerous tree in order to preserve public health and safety.

If Schedule 1(3) birds would be affected, then a licence from DEFRA is required. Similarly a licence is also required for tree work deemed necessary for reasons other than health and safety.

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Tree, tpo, tree preservation order, safety, protection, dangerous, wildlife and countryside act, court, fines, penalty