Schools, like all landowners, have a legal 'duty of care' to ensure that users and neighbours of their land are reasonably safe. Schools, as a place of work, must also ensure that risks to employees and contractors are reduced as far as is 'reasonably practicable'.
If an accident happens, a tree owner would need to demonstrate that they have taken reasonable and effective steps to identify trees which could place people or property at risk, and have managed those risks accordingly.
North Somerset Council’s adopted Tree Risk Management Plan is a robust and defendable system of tree risk management operated by trained and experienced tree risk managers, and this contract will mean that a school is included within it.
The Plan implements the National Tree Safety Group guidance ‘Common Sense Risk Management of Trees’, published in December 2011 . The Plan also adopts the Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) methodology to assess the risk of harm from trees.
The council’s tree risk management plan operates continually and includes a risk survey of your school’s tree population every four years. The school will then receive a report detailing remedial tree work that is needed to be carried out at the school’s cost.
By being within the council’s own Tree Risk Management Plan, and by carrying out recommended remedial tree work the school will be able to demonstrate it has met its duty of care in respect of trees.