How To Get a Felling Licence - Part 1

by Mike Cox
(Canterbury)

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:


  1. Draw up a Management Plan
  2. - 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.
  3. Contact your local Forestry Commission office
  4. - 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.
  5. Before the site visit, mark the trees you want to fell
  6. - the forestry commission will advise whether to mark trees to be removed, trees kept or simply the boundary of the area.
  7. Submit the felling licence application
  8. - 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...

Comments for How To Get a Felling Licence - Part 1

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Apr 17, 2011
Maps for License Applications
by: Mike

I discovered later in the process of applying that the Forestry Commission supply maps for free! It was a better map than the one I had bought, printed A3.

In all my dealings with the Forestry Commission they were very helpful. I'd suggest talking to you local office before you start the application process; they'll be able to give you advice and make sure you don't waste money buying unnecessary maps!

Mike

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