Jump to content
TTS North

Scottish Forestry - Felling Licence

Recommended Posts

One for my Scottish colleagues.

 

In April 2019 the Scottish Forestry rules changed so that wind-throw was no longer exempt from needing a felling licence.

 

"• Dead trees are exempt but clearance of windblow requires felling permission"

 

However, the 5 cubic metre per quarter exemption from needing a felling licence also still applies - but which takes precedence?

 

If something is wind-throw is it no longer exempt from needing a licence, even if it is less than 5 cubic metres? Or can you still remove wind-throw as long as you stay within the five cubic metres per quarter exemption?

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, TTS North said:

One for my Scottish colleagues.

 

In April 2019 the Scottish Forestry rules changed so that wind-throw was no longer exempt from needing a felling licence.

 

"• Dead trees are exempt but clearance of windblow requires felling permission"

 

However, the 5 cubic metre per quarter exemption from needing a felling licence also still applies - but which takes precedence?

 

If something is wind-throw is it no longer exempt from needing a licence, even if it is less than 5 cubic metres? Or can you still remove wind-throw as long as you stay within the five cubic metres per quarter exemption?

 

Thanks.

Good question. I’d say the 5 cube exemption is still applicable (although this has a minimum overall size on the woodland - has to be over 0.4 ha I think?) But I’m not certain.

 

i found my local Scottish Forestry guy pretty helpful and quick to respond so an email to your local one would be worth it I’d suggest.

 

edit - I think this para from their online guidance gives the answer:

 

3.10 Windblown Trees
Windblown trees require a Felling Permission unless covered by other exemptions, such as land occupied by a statutory undertaker. 

 

Don’t forget if they’re a danger and need removing for that reason then that’s exempt too.

Edited by Puffingbilly413
Added a bit
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly... there never was a windthrow exemption, but the Commission was lax about it as a matter of informal policy.

 

Then the legislation changed. Now the rules are mostly the same but the new Scottish Forestry seems to want to control windthrow removal as a means of ensuring control over restocking. That's the impression I get for its motives.

 

You can remove dead trees without using up the 5 cube. Then if you move on to windthrow you start to use up your 5 cube a quarter allowance. basically treat them like standing timber unless they have died as a result of windthrow.

 

Be careful about using the 'danger' exemption, it is for prevention of immediate danger only. Since in most situations danger can be avoided by staying away from an area while a Permission application is pondered at leisure by SF, the danger situation is only useful where there are unavoidable targets like roads, overhead lines and buildings. But if the danger exemption is used, it is in addition to the dead and the 5 cube exemptions and any of the other exemptions. Think of the exemptions as an AND list, not an OR list.

 

And finally, the 5 cube exemption does not apply where it's a small native woodland or Caledonian PIne wood. So it's an AND BUT NOT IF list.

 

The exemptions are per ownership. So it's 5 cube a quarter whether you have 10 trees or a million trees.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, daltontrees said:

The exemptions are per ownership. So it's 5 cube a quarter whether you have 10 trees or a million trees.

Did that not change in Scotland? I thought it did in England as the advice now states "In any calendar quarter you may fell up to 5 cubic metres (m3) of growing trees on your property without a felling licence, as long as no more than 2m3 are sold"
 

"By property, we interpret this to mean within the immediate property or holding; other properties you may have and that are some distance away could be considered to be a separate property and so have their own 5m³ allowance. The Forestry Commission will not normally consider felling across multiple properties to be cumulative for the purpose of this allowance. Your local Woodland Officer will confirm if more than one count of this exemption may apply"

 

Page 4 here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/876642/Tree_Felling_-_Getting_Permission_-_web_version.pdf

 

Edited by Paul in the woods
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have got to appreciate, we now have separate legislation in Scotland and no Forestry Commission. Whatever rules apply or applied to England have no effect here. I have been told the 5 cube is per owner. A close look at the legislation backs this up. The exemption is to the owner, not to the land. The English legislation is worded differently and does seem to support the interpretation there of the exemption being per piece of land.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading this a thought has occurred (this doesn't happen often).

 

In light of recent blow from Storm Arwen, or whatever it was called, there has been a lot of trees cleared from roads, both public and private.  Now, many of these trees are not technically dangerous, and therefore not exempt from felling licence, and in some cases many more than 5m3 will have been cut.  Should these be subject to a licence?  If so how can roads be cleared in a timely manner?  Public roads could be covered by the Statutory Undertaker exemption I would think but do we now technically need to wait for a licence from SF before clearing tress from a private road? 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the insight guys, I will of course be checking with SF. Scotland does have its own rules, and the 5 cube is per owner, not per site. We are only looking at 40-50 Sitka out of several thousand on a 4 Ha site. Seems daft to have to apply for permission for such a small number of trees.  But the guidance says 'clearance of wind-blow requires felling permission' but then also 'Five cubic metres per quarter exemption maintained'.

 

Thinking about it, it is an exception to needing permission, of course.

 

I could clear the 15 to 20 cube by hand over a year or so, if I wanted to hire in a small harvester operator and get it done in a day then I suppose I would need to apply for permission - which doesn't bother me, but the inevitable restock clause would be a pain 🙄 Daft really.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, daltontrees said:

Be careful about using the 'danger' exemption, it is for prevention of immediate danger only. Since in most situations danger can be avoided by staying away from an area while a Permission application is pondered at leisure by SF

True enough. I guess it depends on the local circumstances eg an amenity woodland or one accessed as such by the public would make the danger more immediate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Puffingbilly413 said:

.......

 

3.10 Windblown Trees
Windblown trees require a Felling Permission unless covered by other exemptions, such as land occupied by a statutory undertaker. 

 

......

Yes. The attached letter in this link shows how seriously SF take it these days. It's worth getting right.  SF Letter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Spruce Pirate said:

Reading this a thought has occurred (this doesn't happen often).

 

In light of recent blow from Storm Arwen, or whatever it was called, there has been a lot of trees cleared from roads, both public and private.  Now, many of these trees are not technically dangerous, and therefore not exempt from felling licence, and in some cases many more than 5m3 will have been cut.  Should these be subject to a licence?  If so how can roads be cleared in a timely manner?  Public roads could be covered by the Statutory Undertaker exemption I would think but do we now technically need to wait for a licence from SF before clearing tress from a private road? 

Officially yes permission would be needed. When making the new legislation the numbskulls at Parliament removed the right to remove a nuisance. I took it up wuith the MInister, he fobbed me off with some jobsworth in SF who  the situation didn't occur very often so it wasn't a problem to require applications. I would have thought, it doesn't occur very often so why remove the exemption.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  •  

  • Featured Adverts

  • Tip site reviews

    • By Kimberley · Posted
      Had some woodchips delivered. Lovely quality and for free. Was able to start my garden project. Am so pleased with the service that i have decided to give a tip for my next tip waste load.
    • By PSA · Posted
      Excellent result last year. I was contacted by some tree surgeons through the site after about 6 months. They were thoughtful and helpfully left me with several piles of clean woodchip, which now helps suppress weeds under my trees. Great site. Thanks
    • By Dan Errington · Posted
      Extremely helpful and friendly main contact and the allotment was very easy to tip at. Much appreciated!
    • By Michael lomax · Posted
      Answered phone, dropped off within 10 mins. Access ok for transit but no bigger. 3.5m3 load. Spot on, saved me a trip to the yard. 
    • By Harri1959 · Posted
      Brilliant! Had two loads delivered, spot on time, great bloke, would not even take a few Bob to cover his time and fuel, over the moon. I just have to cut and split 6 tonnes of logs now. I will have to buy the wife a new splitting axe for Christmas. 😁

About

Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.

See you inside.

The Arbtalk Team

Follow us

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.