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Ancient trees and UK law

What UK laws can be used to help protect ancient trees?

There are some legal instruments, which can be used to protect ancient trees, namely:

In the UK ancient trees have no automatic right of protection. They have no equivalent to Scheduled Ancient Monument status, as important archaeological sites do, and often remain completely unprotected from destruction.

The comprehensive database of ancient and notable trees to be created by the Ancient Tree Hunt will be fundamental to the Woodland Trust and the Ancient Tree Forum efforts to campaign for -

  • creation of a new designation of ‘historic tree’ to protect ancient trees from development pressure
  • changes to be made to Tree Preservation Order legislation, so that dying and dead ancient trees have greater protection
  • ancient trees to be identified and conserved throughout the UK Biodiversity Action Plan
  • important landscapes with concentrations of ancient trees, to be protected through effective historic and conservation designations
  • the creation of wood pasture to extend existing sites, with young, open grown trees, which will become the ancient trees of the future
  • the buffering of important sites from surrounding intensive land use
  • ancient trees to be recorded on local authority development plans, so they can be properly considered in planning decisions

Ancient Tree