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Enforcement Policy

The Forestry Commission has long been committed to the principles of better regulation. We provide incentives and promote best practice to reduce the need for regulation. We also recognise the benefit of working closely with all our stakeholders to make sure that wherever possible they can comply easily while maintaining the protection offered by the regulations.

There are occasions however when conformity with the law needs to be sought by formal enforcement action. Our key enforcement objectives are to prevent:

  • the illegal felling of trees
  • the import or export of timber, timber products and timber packaging in breach of plant health regulations
  • environmental damage caused by forestry operations
  • marketing of seed, cuttings or planting stock in contravention of the forest reproductive material regulations

We regulate felling to prevent loss of tree cover and planting to ensure  new woodland schemes are environmentally sound. We also enforce plant health regulations to protect trees and woodlands against potentially damaging pests. Our powers in these areas derive directly from the Forestry Acts or Plant Health Act. Consequently, there are relatively few regulations relating to forestry. European Union (EU) Instruments are a major influence, and the majority of our regulations originate from them.

This Enforcement Policy Statement is in accordance with the Regulators’ Compliance Code and the seven Hampton principles of good regulation required under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006. All Forestry Commission staff, and others empowered under our regulations, who take enforcement decisions are required to follow this Statement.

Last updated: 8th December 2015