Welcome to the *West Midlands Region Regulations page. The Forestry Commission is the Relevant or Competent Authority for a variety of regulations, details of which are below. Our Woodland Officers are here to advise you on forestry issues and opportunities of the day, and with their admin support officers, will administrate all aspects of Grants and Regulations within the forestry sector in your part of the West Midlands Region.
In order to help protect trees, woodlands and forests in the West Midlands a Felling Licence from the Forestry Commission is normally required to fell trees. It is an offence to fell trees without a licence if an exemption does not apply. Details of when a felling licence is required and how to obtain one are available in the booklet Tree Felling - Getting Permission (PDF 1748kb).
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
The Forestry Commission is responsible for administering the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999. Consent is required for forestry projects that involve woodland creation, deforestation, forest road building or quarry operations, and that could have a significant effect on the environment.
The Forestry Commission maintains two Registers. One is for publicly consulting on tree felling and woodland creation proposals. The other is to record the decisions made on forestry projects that could have a significant impact on the environment.
*The Peak District National Park and the National Forest, although partly located in adjacent Regions, will be administered by East Midlands Region and will appear on the East Midlands Register. If you have an interest in the National Forest, you are advised to look in the Register pages of both East and West Midlands.
European Protected Species Habitats Regulations (EPS)
A number of changes have been made to Habitats Regulations that increase the legal protection given to protected species wherever they are found in England. Several of the species covered by the Regulations are found in woodland habitats and the Forestry Commission in England has been developing the means of implementing these regulation changes and embedding them within the forestry sector.
Countyside Rights of Way Act (CROW)The Countryside & Rights of Way Act (CRoW) 2000 provided new access rights on areas of land such as mountain and moorland. The CRoW Act also introduced the ability to voluntarily dedicate woodland for free public access in perpetuity. Approval may be required from the Forestry Commission if an owner wishes to restrict public access in woodland that has been dedicated under CRoW.
Forest Reproductive Materials (FRM)
Forest Reproductive Material (FRM) is the generic name for the seeds, cones, cuttings and planting stock used in forest establishment. The Forest Reproductive Material (Great Britain) Regulations 2002 regulate the marketing of FRM by providing a system of identification and control of seeds, cuttings and planting stock used for forestry purposes in Great Britain. The Forestry Commission is the Official Body that is responsible for the FRM Regulations.
Plant Health Regulations
The importation of timber and other goods with wooden packaging material presents a risk to British forests and woodlands because imported wood may carry tree pests which are not currently present in GB, but which could easily establish populations in our growing forests. These pests have the potential of killing large areas of forest or seriously damaging other woodland and amenity trees. At a national level, the Plant Health Service draw up and apply rules on both the import and export of forestry material (trees, timber and timber products) and the movement of this material within the EU. They also carry out national surveys of forests to ensure that no new pests have been introduced and to establish the extent of spread of pests already here. The Plant Health (Forestry) Order 2005 is the statutory instrument which sets out import controls.
Tree Preservation Orders
A tree preservation order (TPO) is an order made by a local planning authority (LPA) to protect trees or woodlands. You may need to talk to your LPA in order to work on a protected tree and don’t need a Felling Licence.
A Conservation Areas is “an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance” under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. You may need to talk to your LPA in order to work on a tree within a Conservation Area.
For advice on any aspect of the forestry regulations detailed please contact your Local Woodland Officer