What about ancient trees?
Unfortunately and inexplicably, while improving protection for ancient woodland the Government chose not to extend this to all of England’s ancient wooded habitats.
The Government decided to leave these habitats subject to the current ‘benefits outweigh the loss’ loophole, and thereby separate them from ancient woodland for the first time within the NPPF. This doesn’t make sense from a Government so bent on building our way out of the housing crisis. When properly considered and planned for, our ancient trees can provide a focal point in new developments, which are fascinating and biodiverse portals into past land uses and cultures.
This is a big problem and must be addressed. The impacts this could have on how planning policy safeguards our most precious trees will be serious.
The Government has asked for the public’s views and we hope you will respond. We need people to support the proposed changes for ancient woodland, and urge the Government to rethink its neglect of aged and veteran trees.
The fight for our ancients continues! Watch out for our new campaign, which will help you to tell the Government exactly what you think of its revisions - the good the bad and the ugly!
As our thinking evolves we’ll look at the wider implications for the environment beyond woods and trees. Please check back for more detail and to find out how you can get involved.