How To Get a Felling Licence - Part 1
by Mike Cox
Well, this is where things got a bit complex!
In the UK it is illegal to fell a tree (other than via some limited exceptions) without a felling licence, issued by the Forestry Commission. In our case even those limited exceptions don't count as the local council has also applied the extra restrictions of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on the whole area.
Fortunately getting a felling licence over-rides the TPO so I've been off learning how to get felling licences. The first thing I've found is that it takes quite a while to get one - after the hold up with getting a management plan commissioned I've taken over and tried to get a licence sorted in time for the February half term, but no joy as it is now too late.
Anyway, I thought others might find an account of the process helpful if they need to go through it:
- Draw up a Management Plan - this is not essential but if you are new to the woodland it will help you clarify your ideas and may help you satisfy the Forestry Commission later.
- Contact your local Forestry Commission office - they will be able to put you in touch with the person responsible for your area. They are well worth a conversation and tend to give sensible suggestions. Before your submit a felling licence application they will probably want to visit the woods to ensure everything is in order.
- Before the site visit, mark the trees you want to fell - the forestry commission will advise whether to mark trees to be removed, trees kept or simply the boundary of the area.
- Submit the felling licence application - this is actually a very simple form but it does need a map to accompany it. I ordered a 1:10000 online and had the file emailed to me the same day! Lots of companies provide this service, I found the one I used through the Ordnance Survey website. The map needs to be clearly marked indicating the area to be felled.
More to follow in subsequent posts...