Located in the region of Yorkshire and the Humber are North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire. Across this region are a vast array of favourable towns and cities, with the largest by population including Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Kingston upon Hull, Huddersfield, York and Doncaster.
A widely known rural region, Yorkshire is predominantly countryside, with many of the top attractions supporting this characteristic. Examples include Sheffield Botanical Gardens, Graves Park, Valley Gardens, Peasholm Park, the RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Roundhay Park, and of course, the picturesque Yorkshire Dales. An abundance of rural areas, however, doesn’t directly mean the same for the number of trees in the area, and a lack of trees can be to the detriment of biodiversity.
The UK has a woodland cover of 13% – nearly a third of the EU’s 37% average. Despite the extensive rural features, the Yorkshire Dales shockingly only has 4.3% woodland cover. Since 1996, The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust has helped to enhance the current woodland cover by planting 1.5 million trees in the Yorkshire Dales alone. As a whole, local councils across Yorkshire and the Humber are attempting to plant more trees to increase oxygen, decrease carbon and benefit local biodiversity.
During any land development project, the presence of any trees that may be protected by the local council through conservation areas or tree preservation orders (TPOs) can act as obstacles, particularly for developers looking to progress their planning project and gain planning permission from the local planning authority. Although avoiding all interference from the local council simply isn’t possible when protected trees are involved, you can ensure that you aren’t breaching local, national or even European legislation by booking a British standard tree survey with one of our trusted arboriculturists.
Trees in Yorkshire and the Humber
Policies enforced by local councils in the area oversee trees in the Yorkshire and the Humber region for safety and management purposes. As well as broader county councils, there are smaller district and borough councils to focus specifically on trees in the corresponding areas.
Below, we explain the state of arboriculture in Yorkshire and the Humber’s four counties as well as the local councils that protect trees in each area:
East Riding of Yorkshire
With just 2.6% of woodland cover, East Riding of Yorkshire is infamously recognised as the Yorkshire region’s least wooded area. The lack of forestry alongside the fact that only 5.8% of the population lives in East Riding’s rural areas points towards a need for enhancements to local biodiversity. Ongoing efforts to do this are in place, with 65,000 trees planted in 2019 and a further 35,000 trees planted in 2020.
Trees in East Riding of Yorkshire are protected by:
- East Riding of Yorkshire Council
- Hull City Council
- North East Lincolnshire Council
- North Lincolnshire Council
A significant 74% of North Yorkshire is considered rural, and over the course of 11 years spanning from 2001 and 2012, North Yorkshire Council has added an extra 5,160 hectares of tree cover. The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust has also contributed to this initiative, planting 70,000 by the year 2021 and aiming to undertake similar projects in future years to increase the number of natural assets in the county.
Trees in North Yorkshire are protected by:
- City of York Council
- Craven District Council
- Hambleton District Council
- Harrogate Borough Council
- North Yorkshire County Council
- Richmondshire District Council
- Ryedale District Council
- Scarborough Borough Council
- Selby District Council
Due to the number of towns and cities in the county, South Yorkshire holds a combination of rural and urban areas. In an effort to enhance the state and standard of biodiversity across the county, the South Yorkshire Wildlife Creation Project aims to plant trees and create new areas of woodland. Originally started in 2020, the project works with the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, South Yorkshire Local Nature Partnership and the Woodland Trust to ensure that sufficient improvements to local biodiversity are made.
Trees in South Yorkshire are protected by:
- Barnsley Council
- Doncaster Council
- Rotherham Council
- Sheffield City Council
- South Yorkshire Combined Authority
Home to Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds and Wakefield, the largest and most built-up urban area in Yorkshire resides in West Yorkshire. As a whole, 80% of people in the Yorkshire and the Humber region live in urban areas, and despite North Yorkshire offering predominantly rural areas as the largest county in Yorkshire, the towns and cities in West Yorkshire make up a significant urban offering to inhabiting residents. Efforts to increase the number of trees in West Yorkshire are being made, however, including Kirklees Council, who pledged in 2021 to plant seven million trees across the county.
Trees in West Yorkshire are protected by:
- Bradford Council
- Calderdale Council
- Kirklees Council
- Leeds City Council
- Wakefield Council
- West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Assessments on Trees
While there are different forms of tree surveys such as arboricultural method statements and tree protection plans, the baseline assessment consists of a BS5837 tree survey. For land development projects with trees present on the site, a BS5837 tree survey will allow the developer and the local planning authority to understand the nature of trees on the site, as well as effective next steps to reduce future risks and determine a suitable course of action that will enable to the project to progress.
Over the course of a site visit, a tree surveyor will use the value and condition of each tree to categorise them into a set grading system. Through this approach, the arboriculturist can decide whether each tree should be retained, relocated elsewhere on or off the site, or destroyed. The ideal outcome would be in this order, with retention coming as the most desirable decision. However, as certain trees could pose a risk to people or infrastructure on the site, interfere with the development, possess poor quality, or pose subsidence risk, relocating or destroying trees may be more suitable mitigation measures.
In terms of tangible evidence and the necessary next steps to move the planning project into future stages, after the BS 5837 tree survey, the principal arboricultural consultant will compile their findings, recommendations and data gathered from the tree survey into an extensive tree report, allowing them to recommend works to reduce risks to trees and the development. Including written and photographic evidence from the tree inspection and an overview of all tree stock, the tree survey report can be submitted to the local planning authority to support planning applications.
Within our ranks are arboriculturists with the level of experience, expertise and training to undertake tree surveys on big and small sites and produce reports at an acceptable level that give your local authority all you need to gain planning consent from the local authorities. We operate all over the UK, including across Yorkshire and the Humber, so regardless of where your development site is, our arboricultural consultants can assess your trees, provide arboricultural advice and ensure that your project moves through planning without any unexpected stoppages.
If there are trees within your development site or nearby trees, you have concerns over individual trees that could be under a tree preservation order (TPO) or a conservation area, or if you need a tree survey to acquire planning consent, we can help. From a developer to a tree owner and from project managers to estate managers, our tree services can benefit various individuals looking to solve numerous planning purposes. If you would like an indication of how much a tree survey on the many trees located nearby, on your site and in the potential influencing distance would be, you can receive a free quote without obligation based on the size of your site and the circumstances of your planning project.
Just get in touch with us using the form at the top of this page, our direct phone number or via one of our other communication options, and one of our team will be able to produce an accurate quote. Providing you are happy to move ahead, we can then arrange a suitable date and time to plan a site visit and conduct the tree survey, and immediately after, the arboricultural consultant will supply the tree reports to the local authorities to assist in the planning application process.