Felling licences

Felling RegisterManual felling . Felling 80 year old Sweet Chestnut . Location: Dean , Gloucestershire , England .

You can find out about planting and felling proposals in South East England by viewing the Register of grant schemes and felling.

The Forestry Commission controls tree felling by issuing licences.

1. Who can apply for a licence?

Anyone can apply for a felling licence but it must be issued in the name of the owner or lessee of the property.  Lesses must ensure that their lease entitles them to fell trees. 

In some circumstances, we will issue a licence to someone who is not the owner or lessee but has sufficient legal interest in the land.  This means they must be able to fell the trees without the need to get permission from anyone else.

2. Check for land designations

Use the Land information search (LIS) to identify any land designations that may affect the felling licence application.

3. Forestry Commission considers the application under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) Regulations 1999

The Forestry Commission will consider applications to fell trees to convert the land to another land use under these regulations.  Applicants may have to apply seperately for consent to carry out the work.

4. Applying for a licence

  • Complete application form (application forms are available as a pdf)
  • Send completed application form to the Forestry Commission
  • For contact details of your nearest office in the South east
  • Two signed and dated copies of a map showing the boundary of the proposals must be sent with the application.


5. Apply to fell trees as part of a grant scheme application
A separate felling licence application is not required

6. The Forestry Commission deals with the application

  • A site visit will be set up within three weeks, if required
  • Details of the application will be placed on the Register of New Planting and Felling (unless it is for thinning only)
  • Application details will remain on the Register for four weeks
  • Local authorities and other organisations may also be consulted

NOTE: A felling licence cannot be issued until after the Register period expires.

An acknowledgement will be sent within three days.

7. Conditions on a licence

Conditions will normally be included on the licence to:

  • Restock the area with trees: and
  • Maintain these trees for a period not exceeding ten years

Felling licence applicants must agree to these conditions.  The Government has a general policy against felling woodland without restocking.  Licences to thin woodlands are granted unconditionally (without the need to restock).


Tree Felling – Getting Permission (pdf 1748kb)
Felling licence application form: England (pdf 86kb)

Selling Land with a felling licence

A felling licence applies to the land, regardless of who owns the land.  This means that the permission and conditions remain in force after the land is sold.  Those who sell land with a felling licence must advise the Forestry Commission and the purchaser accordingly.