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A Dozen Golden Rules for Campaigning

  1. Be sure of your facts. Never make categorical assertions unless you can support them.
  2. Always have local people on your side.
  3. Try and get someone with credibility – well known, on-side- District Councillor, County Councillor, MP.
  4. Have a copy of TPO legislation to hand and if possible BS 5837 British
    Standards Guide to Trees in Relation to Construction PPG (Planning Policy Guide) “TREES IN CONSERVATION AREAS”. National Joint Utilities Group Publication no. 10 – Guidelines for the planning, installation and maintenance of utility services in proximity to trees - and be prepared to quote chapter and verse.
  5. Know District policies as stated in local district plans and quote their own polices when action or decisions seem contrary to them.
  6. Be content to use simple common sense arguments.
    For example:- Campaign against a development close to trees.
    a) When the tree is in full leaf and as the canopy enlarges, occupants will call for its removal due to lack of light.
    b) Occupants could call for surgery to remove “dangerous” branches to such an extent the tree is no longer an amenity.
    c) Occupants may call for tree removal on grounds that roots may block underground pipes.
  7. Always make a site visit – get a photograph (but do not trespass).
  8. Always inspect plans personally and try to get a copy.
  9. Try and support your argument with local past cases.
  10. Keep your argument short, be concise.
  11. Speak your case clearly. Do not bluster or mumble.

Written by Rachel Palmer of the Dorset branch of the International Tree Foundation
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