We’ve done it! Victory for our ancients
And we couldn’t be happier!
Government amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework published today mean ancient woods and ancient and veteran trees now have the highest possible protection from insensitive and unnecessary development.
In a statement to the media Woodland Trust CEO Beccy said:
“We welcome this shift. A country that cares for its future cares for its past. It’s absolutely right that ancient woodland is afforded the highest possible protection from development – it is one of our top wildlife habitats and there is so little of it left.
“And it’s absolutely right that ancient and veteran trees should be considered equally irreplaceable and given the same protection – the UK is unique in the number it has and the species they support. They are both exceptional natural assets. This new policy makes it clear that from now on, loss or damage should only be considered in ‘wholly exceptional’ circumstances, putting them on a par with our best built heritage.
“This is a victory for common sense and a huge step forward, although effective local enforcement will be key. The new changes come into effect immediately; we now expect to see a shift down in number from the current 586 damaging live applications in play as planners and developers take this change into account. ”
Rebecca Pow MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees, said:
“This is great news for these exceptionally precious and irreplaceable habitats which are such an important part of our natural history and yet regularly face threats from unnecessary and insensitive development. I am delighted that England’s ancient woodland and its ancient and veteran trees will finally get the protection they deserve in the planning system.”
You can read our full media statement here https://bit.ly/2NFTtrq and don’t forget to join the conversation on social media.