Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees

Ancient trees and woodland are a valuable resource. As well as providing ecologically rich habitats for wildlife, our woodlands play an important role in flood amelioration, soil conservation, carbon storage, recreation, tourism and timber production.

Development can affect ancient woodland and veteran trees as well as the wildlife they support. The impact of development on ancient woodland and trees can include:

  • Damaging or destroying the tree(s) or woodland;
  • Damaging or killing veteran trees or parts of them;
  • Damaging roots and soil as well as vegetation under taller trees;
  • Pollution;
  • Changes to the woodlands water table or drainage;
  • Damage to archaeological features or heritage assets.

More information is available on Ancient woodland and veteran trees in the Planning Practice Guidance.

How can I find out if a woodland is ancient?

You can check to see if woodland is designated as Ancient Woodland by using Natural England's Ancient Woodland Inventory; you can view the data on their Magic Map System (n.b. designated woodland that is smaller than 2 hectares may not be shown).