Save Our Ancient Woodland

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Ancient Woodland creates a the natural beauty of England with its rich natural preserved soils never disturbed by modern human activity, delicate eco-systems. But despite popular belief there isn’t really adequate protection for our ancient woodland leaving 600 woods under threat from development plans including roads, houses, sports facilities, golf courses, and car parks.

On one hand the sound of all these new establishments, and buildings sounds appealing to some but the sacrifice made isn’t truly necessary. When we look at how the western world has evolved, what will we have left of our ancient natural woodlands? There is currently protection over these habitats put in place by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) but in reality doesn’t sit quite right.

Their policy wording states “planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and the loss of aged veteran trees found outside ancient woodland, unless the need for , and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss.”

Although this apparent protection over ancient woodland is in place, it does leave us feeling this wording just isn’t strong enough considering 600 ancient woods are still under threat. The Woodland Trust has the support of The Communities Local Government (CLG) Select Committees who have recommended to the government there should be a change in the wording where ancient woodland loss is “wholly exceptional”.

This unsurprisingly was brushed under the carpet and nothing yet has been done, their argument is that there is already adequate protection, even though they have no evidence to back up that claim. This current policy wording is as “useless as a chocolate teapot“, after we have already seen 1,000 hectares of Ancient Woodland destroyed in the last decade.

We really do need to do as much as we can to protect our ancient woodland, keeping or rich heritage and natural habitats. It may not be something that you would automatically think of but this is one part of many things we need to change and save for the environment, which can in the larger scale make a huge impact. Take action now and make a change here.

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