Save all ancient woodland

What is Scrapbook?


Save all your favourite Woodland Trust content in one place.

Find out more about Scrapbook
View of a field with an encroaching quarry

Contrary to popular belief, ancient woodland is not fully protected.

The UK's ancient woodland is one of the few remaining living links to our past. It's the richest, most valuable habitat for wildlife we have, covering only around 2% of the land area, with unique ecosystems which provide a home to hundreds of rare and vulnerable species. It can never be replanted, recreated or replaced.

Thanks to a strong community campaign and pressure from the Woodland Trust, the largest single threat to an ancient wood in England that we have seen has been averted. But for how long?

A proposal to dig a 50 hectare quarry on historic Hopwas Wood in Staffordshire was withdrawn, following an outcry from local people and groups such as the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the Friends of Hopwas Wood.

This result shows what an impact people can have by standing up for woods and trees and making their views known. This was not just an isolated threat - protection for all ancient woodland is currently weak. Hopwas was one of more than 400 ancient woods currently threatened across the UK.

Threats to ancient woodland are relentless. Loopholes in the planning system are allowing the economic case for development to eclipse the ecological, social and cultural value of ancient woodland. Add this to short-term thinking and careless disregard, and an already rare habitat is at risk of being lost forever.

Indeed the Communities and Local Government Committee recently recommended that the Government amend paragraph 118 of the National Planning Policy Framework to state that any loss of ancient woodland should be “wholly exceptional”.

It’s time to say “enough is enough!”

Ancient woodland needs protecting

Sunlight in Hopwas Wood (Credit - James Broad)

This battle comes at a cost and we need your help.

Donate now

Celebrate and protect our Very Important Trees

Ancient oak tree (Ancient Tree Hunt website)

Our oldest and most important trees have little recognition or protection. We're calling for a national tree register to stop these living monuments being lost forever.

Support a national tree register