Legal Requirements


Protected Species Legislation

Some woodland management activities can potentially have negative impacts on protected species or their habitats and this must be taken into consideration when works are planned.

For information on the regulations affecting habitats and wildlife for England, see: www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-and-protect-woodland-wildlife

For information specific to Wales, see: naturalresources.wales/guidance-and-advice/business-sectors/forestry/woodlands-and-the-environment/woodland-species/woodland-european-protected-species

For information specific to Scotland, see: www.nature.scot/professional-advice/safeguarding-protected-areas-and-species/protected-species/protected-species-z-guide

Note that there are protected birds under Schedules 1, A1, and 1A of the Wildlife Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) that are not priority species in this toolkit but that may be affected by woodland management operations, including goshawk, red kite, woodlark, crossbill and firecrest.

This toolkit is designed to highlight which priority species are most likely to occur in or near your woodland. It does not provide a definitive list of protected species that you might need to consider. Where a species identified by your toolkit search is a European Protected Species, your toolkit output will flag this up. However this does not mean that the species is definitely present within your woodland, nor that other protected species are not present.

For Government guidance on European Protected Species, including the EPS checklist and EPS booklet, see: www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-9enc24.

For Scotland the relevant guidance can be found here: scotland.forestry.gov.uk/supporting/strategy-policy-guidance/biodiversity/wildlife-and-forest-operations

Felling licences

A felling licence is required to fell trees, except where exemptions apply. For further information see:

Designated sites

If your wood is part of a designated site for nature, geology, or archaeology, ensure you consult the relevant Government agency as part of your management planning.

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