Mixed woodland with steep banks and river flowing through it
Apr 09 2018

Woods under Threat Detector Network Update April 2018

I can hardly believe the year is a quarter of the way through already and it was great to catch up with so many of you at the training session at the start of March despite the audio problems.

It also seems to have been a very busy start to the year with planning applications impacting ancient woodland although we haven’t run the stats yet to confirm this.

There is a lot to update you all on this month.


National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

Earlier this month we were very pleased when the government launched a consultation on the changes to the wording in the NPPF. The proposed changes strengthen the protection for ancient woodland although sadly not for aged and veteran trees. We have added the following paragraph for you to include in your responses while the consultation is ongoing.

The draft revised National Planning Policy Framework, published on 5th March 2018, further outlines the Government’s commitment to improving protection for ancient woodland through the planning system. It states that “development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats (such as ancient woodland) should be refused, unless there are wholly exceptional reasons and a suitable mitigation strategy exists.” This wording is a clear recognition from the Government of ancient woodland’s importance and better need for protection.

If you want to know more, Victoria our Planning Advisor has written a couple of blogs – read them here http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2018/03/nppf-proposals/



When Circumstances Regarding Planning Applications, Change

In light of the high expectations placed on us by some supporters, the following wording has been compiled by our legal team. Some of you have already come across it but you all need to be aware of it:

Cases involving woods and trees under threat can change and evolve during the planning process due to a wide variety of reasons. Where a development involving ancient woods or veteran trees no longer remains a threat due to changing circumstance surrounding said application and based upon professional judgement steered by our conservation research, the Woodland Trust withholds the right to withdraw or amend its objection and review its approach.

The Woodland Trust is not a statutory body. As a charity, we provide all information in good faith, funded by public donations. For more information about this visit here


Scottish Planning Matters

Our Edinburgh colleagues, Charles our Public Affairs Manager and Arina our Public Affairs Officer have each recently written an interesting blog please take 5 minutes to have a read.



Also Aberdeen Council’s Main Issues Report is open for consultation until 8 May. Arina would love your help in compiling the Trust’s response so if you can assist with this please get in touch directly with her.


Practice Applications

A number of you have asked for some practice applications to be uploaded so you can keep your skills honed so I have added a word document with details of a few onto ShareFile. There are Scottish, Welsh and English ones so you can choose as appropriate.

If you want to have a go at a response and ask for feedback please send them through to the Threat Detector inbox but please remember to put “Practice Case for Feedback” in the subject line so that Jack and I don’t get confused.


Quick Reminders

Standard Paragraphs

I have recently refreshed the standard paragraph documents and the most recent revision is dated March 2018. Please take a moment or two to make sure you are using the most up to date version.

The paragraphs can be found in the Library here on Whittle if you have difficulty accessing them please let us know and we will do our best to help.

Consultation deadline dates

When sending us responses to sign off please remember to include the consultation deadline date(s) in the email subject, it helps us prioritise the ones that need to be sent off urgently.

Volunteer Hours

Thank you for keeping me updated on what you have been doing on the Woods under Threat Detector front. Please remember to let me know what you have been doing this month too.


And Finally 🙂

I will be out of the office until 16 April so please remember to keep sending anything WuT Detector related to the threatdetector@woodlandtrust.org.uk inbox where one of the team will be able to pick it up.

Thank you as always for all your hard work.

Best wishes

Sarah Cooley


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