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Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) (Pre 16 May 2017)

The Forestry Commission is responsible for administering the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 and the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) (Scotland) Regulations 1999.

These regulations affect four “forestry” projects. These are:

  • Afforestation:  Planting new woods and forests.  This 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.

The regulations give each of these projects an area threshold.  Lower thresholds are given for projects that lie within sensitive areas e.g. National Park, AONB.

See our Quick Guide page to find out how the EIA process works

Getting our Opinion
If you are planning to carry out work that could be classed within one of the four forestry projects, you should ask for our Opinion. This is a formal process written into the Regulations. To help with this, just complete our Opinion request form (see below). In some cases, we may ask for more information before we can make a decision.

Applying for consent
If our opinion is that the proposed project will have a significant impact on the environment, you must get our consent for the work before you start. Your application must include an Environmental Statement.

If you carry out work that would have required our consent and have not applied for it, or breach the conditions of a consent we have already given, the regulations allow us to issue an Enforcement Notice.

Undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment in Forestry and preparing an Environmental Statement (PDF 609kb).
Environmental Impact Assessment of Forestry Projects (PDF 551kb)
Opinion request form (PDF 60kb)  

Last updated: 31st January 2018