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Protect Wales's ancient woods and trees

The Welsh Government has a duty to protect environmental and cultural characteristics of the Welsh landscape, especially those highly cherished for their unique qualities. Our oldest and most valuable woods and trees are wonderful examples.

Wales’ oldest and rarest trees and woods need our protection

Yet they are constantly at risk from insensitive and damaging development.

Wales’ ancient woods and trees have provided important public benefits for centuries, and have evolved into unique ecosystems and important wildlife habitats.

They are historic assets that should be protected for our safety, health and well-being, now and for future generations.

Our casebook shows that ancient woodland and individual ancient, veteran and heritage trees remain under threat in Wales. 

Although only a snapshot, in the panel below we have looked to keep a record of what has been damaged, saved or lost since recording began in Dec 1999 to 31 Dec 2017. 

Less protection in future

A review of planning policy in Wales has suggested that the wording around ancient woodland and ancient trees should be amended. But where Coed Cadw (the Woodland Trust in Wales) would expect more robust protection and more commitment to enforcement, the new wording will actually reduce the protection given to these precious habitats.

The consultation is now closed. Thank you to everyone who voiced their support. We will let you know the outcome of the consultation as soon as we know more.