Health and safety experts have called on landowners to take more care and responsibility when looking after trees on their land.
In light of recent fatalities and injuries sustained from falling trees and branches, members of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) are reminding landowners and managers of the potential risks that failing to look after trees on their land can pose to public safety.
Alan Plom, from the IOSH Rural Industries Group, said: “Every year across the UK members of the public are injured, or even worse killed when a tree falls on them.
“Landowners and managers need to step up to the mark and be aware of the risks that unsafe trees on their land pose to the general public – they could be seriously hurt should a tree fall.”
There have been some high-profile incidents and widely reported civil cases relating to poor tree safety and management. Liability concerns amongst landowners have led to a defensive approach and often unnecessary felling of trees.
Mr Plom added: “Tree safety isn’t a laughing matter, it’s a must. Landowners need to balance the risks and benefits that having trees on their land can bring, and adopt a sensible, proportionate approach to tree safety.
“When assessing whether trees are safe it’s important that risks are considered without adopting an overly defensive approach that can have a harmful effect on tree stocks or individual trees.”