Forestry Commission logo

Environmental Impact Assessment projects and thresholds

For all the different types of Forestry projects an area threshold exists.  If the area of land on which the project is proposed is greater than the area threshold, an EIA may be required.  Separate area thresholds exist for land that is in sensitive and non sensitive areas. See below for definitions of sensitive areas.

Forestry Projects

  • Afforestation:  Planting new woods and forests, includes direct seeding or natural regeneration, planting Christmas trees or short rotation coppice
  • Deforestation: Felling woodland to use the land for a different purpose
  • Forest Roads: The formation, alteration or maintenance of private ways on land used (or to be used) for forestry purposes. This includes roads within a forest or leading to one
  • Forestry Quarries: Quarrying to obtain materials required for forest road works on land that is used or will be used for forestry purposes or on land held or occupied with that land Area thresholds

Use the Land Information Search (LIS) to identify any designations or sensitivities that may be affected by the project. The sensitivities will determine the particular area threshold that must be used.  Contact details for the relevant organisation responsible for these features are provided on the report that is produced.
 

 

Project Threshold where any part of the land is in a sensitive area Threshold where no part of the land is in a sensitive area
Afforestation 2 hectares where the land is in a National Park, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or National Scenic Area (NSA).

0 hectares in all other sensitive areas - Opinion always required.

5 hectares

Deforestation 0.5 hectares where the land is in a National Park, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or National Scenic Area (NSA).

0 hectares in all other sensitive areas - Opinion always required.

1 hectare

Forest Roads 0 hectares - Opinion always required.

1 hectare

Forest Quarries 0 hectares - Opinion always required.

1 hectare

Important: If any work has been carried out in an area adjacent to the project within the previous five years, this area must also be taken into account.  Contact the Forestry Commission for further advice. 

Definition of sensitive areas

  • land notified under subsection (1) of section 28 (areas of special scientific interest) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act  1981 (SSSIs)
  • land to which subsection (3) of section 29 (nature conservancy orders) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 applies
  • a National Park within the meaning of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949
  • the Broads
  • a property appearing on the World Heritage List kept under article 11(2) of the 1972 UNESCO Convention for the Protection of the Worlds Cultural and Natural Heritage
  • a scheduled monument within the meaning of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 (SAM)
  • an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) designated as such by an order made by the Countryside Agency as respects England or the Countryside Council for Wales, as respects Wales, and duly confirmed under section 87 (designation of areas of outstanding natural beauty) of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949
  • a European site within the meaning of regulation 10 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc) Regulations 1994

 

Last updated: 9th December 2016