All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees
The APPG on Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees meets several times a year to discuss ancient woods and trees.
APPG welcomes new faces for new challenges
A requirement of an APPG is for representation from both sides of the House, and recent Parliamentary seat-shuffling activity meant we needed to elect a new Labour vice chair.
John Grogan MP (Labour) was unanimously elected to be the new vice chair. Alex Chalk MP (Conservative) was also elected vice-chair. These appointments ensure the voice of ancient woodlands and veteran trees is heard in Parliament.
The APPG was updated on:
- our efforts to fund ancient woodland mapping with the Ancient Woodland Inventory (England) Bill, presented to Parliament on 23 January by APPG member Michael Fabricant MP. This is key as ancient woodland can only be protected if we know where it is.
- how improved protection offered to ancient and veteran trees with the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has helped on the ground
- the need for more scrutiny of the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway, which threatens at least 383 ancient woodlands within 2km of the route corridor.
Thanks to the hundreds of supporters who invited their MPs to attend this meeting.
Credit: Victoria Bankes Price / WTML
The meeting started with a vote which confirmed Rebecca Pow re-elected as chair and Angela Smith, Michael Fabricant and David Warburton as vice chairs.
Discussions then centred around:
- celebrating improved protection for ancient woodland and ancient and veteran trees in England in the revised NPPF published in July 2018.
- the Ancient Woodland Inventory needing greater support.
emerging biosecurity threats and how they might affect ancient woods and trees.
- outline proposals for the £4bn Oxford-Cambridge Expressway and how ancient woods will be affected.
- HS2 plans taking the total number of threatened ancient woods to a completely unacceptable 108.
With Housing Minister Dominic Raab in attendance, MPs took the opportunity to press home the importance of stronger protection for ancient trees and woods.
Credit: Chris Marsh/WTML
This meeting focused on changing planning rules to make the loss or deterioration of ancient woodland ‘wholly exceptional’.
The Government had promised to strengthen protection for ancient woodland in its Housing White Paper, a pledge backed by over 15,000 members of the public.
The APPG agreed a number of actions to ensure this was delivered. Rebecca Pow was re-elected as Chair.
Credit: Philip Formby/WTML
At this meeting an AGM was held to vote in new members of the group. SNP MP, John McNally was elected to co-chair alongside existing chair Rebecca Pow. Mims Davies, MP for Eastleigh was also elected as vice-chair.
We presented the results of our survey to planners on ancient woodland which resulted in some interesting and lively discussion.
Credit: Dominic Nicholls Photography / WTML
Our president, Clive Anderson, captivated members as the keynote speaker. Following an update from the Chair, Rebecca Pow MP, Clive talked about his love for trees and woods and why it’s vital legislators recognise their importance and protect them for future generations.
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