Guidance

Find local tree felling projects

Find out how to review and comment on felling licence applications for tree felling projects in your area.

Register of Woodland Planting and Tree Felling

The Forestry Commission’s Register of Woodland Planting and Tree Felling gives details of proposed tree felling projects.

Details of a tree felling application will stay on the register for 28 days. During this time, anyone may provide us with comments or additional information about the application or the impact that it may have on the area. You can also ask the Forestry Commission for more information on specific tree felling proposals.

Most tree felling applications are for work on private land and you may need permission if you wish to enter the area. The inclusion of the area on the Register of Woodland Planting and Tree Felling does not change this requirement.

How the Forestry Commission is involved

You need a felling licence from the Forestry Commission to fell growing trees if the volume of timber to be felled exceeds 5 cubic metres. Felling licences are normally granted with the condition that the land where the tree felling takes place is replanted with trees.

There are exemptions to needing to apply for a felling licence, such as for trees in:

  • domestic gardens
  • churchyards
  • orchards
  • public open space or, for pruning or remedial tree works

The Forestry Commission also consults local authorities and other organisations with statutory powers in relation to land use before deciding whether to approve applications for tree felling.

The Forestry Commission will only grant a felling licence if the proposals for tree felling are consistent with good forestry practice as outlined in the UK Forestry Standard.

Find out more about how to apply for a tree felling licence.

It’s an offence to fell trees without a licence or other permission, unless it’s covered by an exemption. Find out how to report suspected illegal tree felling.

How to comment on proposed projects

If you’d like to see an application to decide whether to comment on it, you can call in to your local Forestry Commission office and ask to see the application form and the accompanying map.

These are working documents, which may have been annotated, and may be subject to further change before approval. The name and address of the applicant will not be shown. If you submit comments about an application, we’ll consider them as part of our application review process, and may also discuss them with the applicant.

What we do with your comments

If we receive comments or other information about the application, we may discuss these with the applicant and we may ask them to change the tree felling proposals to take these comments into account. In most cases where this happens, reasonable changes can be made and a satisfactory solution reached. Conversely, we may decide that in the light of the information we have received, the application should be refused.

Once we’ve made our decision, we publish details of the final approved felling licence on the Register of Woodland Planting and Tree Felling.

Tree Preservation Orders

Local planning authorities (LPAs) deal with planning matters relating to trees and hedges, and with Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs).

However, if protected trees are to be felled and would normally require a felling licence, then the land owner must apply to the Forestry Commission for a felling licence. The Forestry Commission will consult with the LPA to reach an agreement on what work is appropriate and if any replanting is required.

Landowners or managers must inform the Forestry Commission if a TPO exists on tree felling proposals when making an application for a felling licence.

Published 9 July 2018