Chester 01244 405555

Grosvenor Court
Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

Shrewsbury 01743 443 043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Manchester 0844 800 8346

Pall Mall Court
61-67 King Street
Manchester M2 4PD

Send us a message
Our Offices

Falling Branches: Who Is To Blame?

17th July, 2014

A recent High Court decision has looked at an ordinary landowner’s duty in relation to trees on their land.

Useful guidance on the management of trees is published by the Forestry Commission for the National Tree Safety Group:
Common Sense Risk Assessment of Trees
Common Sense Risk Management of Trees
Managing Trees for Safety

The Health and Safety Executive also gives guidance on the risk from falling trees or branches – see here Management of the risk from falling trees or branches.

In this recent case, a primary school head teacher had a 150 year old ash tree at the bottom of her back garden which overhung the railway line. One night a tree branch fell onto the railway line in high winds and caused a train crash. The train company wanted to recover the cost of damage to the train which amounted to £325,000.

The court said a householder had a duty to carry out informal observations of their trees from time to time. The owner of the house was capable of complying with that duty as she was an ordinary urban observer of trees and she did so. If she was not sufficiently knowledgeable about trees then an arboriculturalist should be hired – for example if the owner of a property is away for a long time, couldn’t physically inspect the property or couldn’t tell if a tree was not healthy.

If a tree is apparently healthy when such regular informal inspections are met, a landowner is expected to do no more.

For more information please contact Emma McGlinchey on 01244 405567 or email [email protected].

You might also be interested in...

Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance: Run-off and alternative regulators

18th July, 2018

Special Focus: Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance Run-off – it dominates the thoughts of sole practitioners and partners in smaller law firms in my experience and restricts the ambitions of firms. The SRA could help law firms by relaxing their rules on run-off cover on their Solicitors’ Professional Indemnity Insurance to help firms merge or close more easily. This would protect... Read More »

Senior employment lawyer joins Theatr Clwyd board

17th July, 2018

Helen Watson, Head of Employment Law at Aaron & Partners LLP, has taken up an invitation to become a Trustee of both the Trust Board and the Main Board Theatr Clwyd has bolstered its senior leadership team with the appointment of an experienced employment law solicitor to support its vision of being at the forefront of theatre making... Read More »

Why there is more to CSR than just boosting a company’s ego

6th July, 2018

When a business invests in its community it deserves praise – but it must go beyond that, writes Helen Watson, a trustee at Claire House and partner at Aaron and Partners Solicitors. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the link between a company and the community in which it operates. As a trustee on charity boards including Claire House... Read More »

Contact Us