Support stronger planning policy for ancient woodland

Ancient woodland may be on the brink of better protection (Photo: WTML)

Ancient woodland is just one step away from gaining the protection it needs and deserves.

At last! Following a Government review of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), changes have been proposed to planning policy that could give ancient woodland better protection from development. Your support could make these proposals reality and have an immediate impact on England’s oldest woodland habitats.

For years, England’s precious ancient woods have been exposed to a devastating loophole in planning policy. But new wording put forward by the Government would result in fewer threats, if accepted. Conservation groups like us could focus on defending England’s ancients from major infrastructure like HS2 instead of from car parks, luxury houses and swimming pools.

It’s crucial that we can show the public agrees with improving protection - especially because some developers and consultants knowingly push forward applications that will damage ancient woods. They will resist this change. We need you to show your support for the new wording. 

It’s good news for ancient woodland. But ancient trees have been left out in the cold.

At the same time, our most valuable trees would no longer be considered ‘irreplaceable’ habitat. We’re extremely alarmed to see this. Until now, the NPPF has afforded equal consideration to ancient woods and to ancient trees – and rightly so. The proposed changes could lead to less protection for ancient trees in future. We need your help to make sure this does not happen. 

Stand up for ancient trees.

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.

Read about our response

What is ancient woodland?

Ancient woodland contains some of our most precious woodland habitats that are home to many species of rare wildlife.

Find out more