skip to main content

Trees and woodland

Woodland of high nature conservation value should be identified in development plans along with relevant policies for its protection and enhancement. Ancient and semi-natural woodland is an important and irreplaceable national resource that should be protected and enhanced, as should other native and long established woodlands.

Other woodlands, hedgerows and individual trees, especially veteran trees, may also have significant biodiversity value and make a significant contribution to landscape character and quality and so should be protected from adverse impacts resulting from development. If a development would result in the severing of connectivity between important woodland habitats, workable mitigation measures should be identified and implemented.

Planning for Woodlands 

  • Planning Authorities should consider preparing woodland strategies as supplementary guidance to inform the future development of woodland and forestry in the area. Guidance external site has now been issued by Scottish Government which provides advice to Planning Authorities on how to prepare these strategies.
  • Where appropriate Planning Authorities should seek opportunities for new woodland creation and planting of native species in connection with development schemes. Planning Authorities should also explore the potential of linking new planting to existing green networks or the creation of new green networks.
  • The Scottish Government's Control of Woodland Removal Policy external site includes a presumption in favour of protecting woodland resources. This document outlines the criteria for determining the acceptability of woodland removal and provides further information on woodlands of high nature conservation value. This policy should be taken into account when preparing development plans and in determining planning applications.

Ancient Woodland Inventory (AWI)

In Scotland Ancient Woodland is defined as land that is currently wooded and has been continually wooded, at least since 1750. The Ancient Woodland Inventory (AWI) is a provisional guide to the location of Ancient and Long-established Woodland in Scotland. This type of woodland has important biodiversity and cultural values by virtue of its antiquity.  Guidance on Ancient Woodland Inventory is available here  PDF document .

Last updated on Friday 12th February 2016 at 11:55 AM. Click here to comment on this page