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Building in areas protected by tree root regulations can be a challenge, but it’s essential to preserve our natural environment while constructing new structures. In this blog post, we’ll explore the implications of tree root protection acts and how ground screws provide an effective solution for building foundations while safeguarding trees.

Understanding a Tree Preservation Order

Tree root protection areas (RPA) and Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) are legislation put in place to safeguard trees and their root systems during construction activities. These regulations aim to prevent damage to trees caused by excavation, construction, or changes in soil conditions. Failure to comply with tree root protection acts can result in fines, penalties, and even legal action.

A Tree Preservation Order is an order made by a local planning authority to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity. An Order prohibits the:


  • cutting down
  • topping
  • lopping
  • uprooting
  • wilful damage
  • wilful destruction


of trees without the local planning authority’s written consent.

Challenges of Building in Protected Areas

Constructing in areas covered by Root Protection Areas or Tree Preservation Orders presents several challenges for builders and developers:

  • Limited Construction Space: They often restrict the area available for construction, making it challenging to design and build structures while avoiding tree roots.
  • Soil Disturbance: Excavation and construction activities can disrupt the soil structure, potentially damaging tree roots and impacting tree health.
  • Compliance Requirements: Builders must navigate complex regulations and obtain permits to ensure compliance with government legislation, adding time and costs to construction projects.

The Benefits of Using Ground Screws for Tree Root Protection

Ground screws offer a practical and efficient solution for building foundations in areas protected by tree regulations:

  • Minimal Soil Disturbance: Unlike traditional concrete foundations that require extensive excavation, ground screws are installed directly into the ground with minimal disturbance to the surrounding soil and tree roots.
  • Compact Footprint: Ground screws have a small footprint, allowing builders to work within confined spaces while avoiding tree root protection zones. The use of handheld hand portable equipment and a no-dig approach ensures that any damage to tree roots is heavily mitigated. This not only protects the major roots (over 25mm) but also the important fibrous root system often found close to the surface.
  • Immediate Load-Bearing Capacity: Ground screws provide immediate load-bearing capacity, allowing construction to proceed without waiting for concrete to cure. This reduces construction time and minimises disruption to trees and their root systems.
  • Adjustable Heights: Ground screws are available in various lengths, allowing builders to adjust the height of foundations to accommodate tree roots and uneven terrain.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Ground screws are made from recyclable materials and can be easily removed and reused, minimising environmental impact and preserving trees for future generations.

Stop Digging ground screws are perfect for supporting timber-framed houses, SIP panel builds and extensions, garden rooms, walkways and wooden paths, decking, fences, flag poles, signs, playground equipment and much more. Stop Digging Screws are widely regarded as a very localised, low impact option upon which to mount structures within an RPA.


Building in areas protected by tree root regulations requires careful planning and consideration of environmental impacts. Stop Digging Ground screws offer an effective solution for constructing foundations while protecting trees and their root systems. With their minimal soil disturbance, immediate load-bearing capacity, and environmentally friendly properties, we provide builders with a reliable foundation option that ensures compliance with tree root protection acts. 

Get in contact with us today to discuss your project and how Stop Digging Ground Screws are the ideal foundation solution. Contact us today on: SALES@STOPDIGGING.CO.UK or 020 3970 3979