Campaign Response to the Environment Bill; Amendment 100 – Ancient Woodlands

Thank you for contacting me about Amendment 100 of the Government’s Environment Bill.

The Government’s Environment Bill will tackle the biggest environmental priorities of our time, signalling a historic step change in the way we protect and enhance our precious natural environment. 

The Bill is comprised of two halves. The first provides a legal framework for environmental governance now that the UK has left the EU. The second makes provision for specific improvement of the environment, including measures on waste and resource efficiency, air quality and environmental recall, water, nature and biodiversity, and conservation covenants.

Ancient woodlands are strongly protected under the National Planning Policy Framework, which allows for loss or deterioration of ancient woodland only in wholly exceptional circumstances, and where a suitable compensation strategy is in place.

The Forestry Commission and Natural England also publish standing advice which should be taken into account as a material consideration in planning decisions affecting ancient and veteran trees and ancient woodland. 

It is for this reason, the Government believes that the majority of the proposals suggested in this amendment are already covered by these measures and further legislation would do little to further protect our important ancient woodlands.

The Environment Bill will put environmental ambition and accountability at the very heart of government, enhancing the commitment to leave the natural world in a better condition, and creating a new environment body to ensure it succeeds.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Sally-Ann Hart MP