Article prepared by Nick Bolton for the Royal Forestry Society Quarterly Journal of Forestry, April 2020.
In January 2012, Andrew Cavanagh’s life was changed irrevocably. Following an overnight storm, a lime tree growing on the side of a public road fell over and hit the bus he was driving causing him severe injuries. In late 2018, the Court of Appeal upheld a prosecution against the land owner (Witley Parish Council) for failing in its duty of care to inspect trees growing on its land with sufficient frequency. This judgement follows a series of findings by the courts which provide a very clear outline of what is expected of a landowner in relation to the management of trees and tree related risk. This article summarises what is expected of landowners from a legal and insurance perspective and will outline some strategies that can be applied to provide cost effective tree risk management solutions.