Tree Health Surveys provide land owners with information on the condition of their current tree stock. These surveys can be utilised for various reasons including the production of management plans, plotting of trees for asset management and to allow the land owner to adhere to various statutory acts and legislation. Tree Health Surveys can be tailored to suit their individual need and can include:
- GIS and topographical information
- Providing appropriate information for insurers
- Specifications for planting (inc. hard areas and underground infrastructure)
- Distance from buildings (canopy spreads)
- Root damage from trees on hard areas
- Disease identification, diagnosis and treatment
Below is information for land owners which relates to current Legislation and Acts:
Section 154 of the Highways Act 1980 – Cutting or felling etc. trees etc. that overhang or are a danger to roads or footpaths:
(1)Where a hedge, tree or shrub overhangs a highway or any other road or footpath to which the public has access so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of vehicles or pedestrians, or obstructs or interferes with the view of drivers of vehicles or the light from a public lamp, [or overhangs a highway so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of horse-riders,]a competent authority may, by notice either to the owner of the hedge, tree or shrub or to the occupier of the land on which it is growing, require him within 14 days from the date of service of the notice so to lop or cut it as to remove the cause of the danger, obstruction or interference.
Legislation under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
- All occupiers have responsibilities to ensure the safety of those not in their employment. “Occupier” is generally taken to mean any person occupying or having control of premises, in this case land. Thus there are clear legal responsibilities to assess risks that arise from trees and take suitable and sufficient steps to control such risks.
- In addition, occupiers have duties under the Occupiers Liability Act 1984. This states (s2) that the occupier owes a “common law duty of care” to visitors and those who enter his land or premises and this duty of care extends to trespassers. In Scotland there is no such distinction in the law.