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Grants and regulations - complaints and appeals

Our approach to resolving disputes

We take all complaints seriously and will make every effort to resolve issues locally to everyone’s satisfaction:

    • we try to resolve disputes using our internal complaint procedure


    • if you have a grant scheme contract, and we cannot solve the issue internally, the Terms and Conditions of the grant scheme may offer you the right to arbitration by a third party


    • for disagreements between organisations and local authorities with whom we consult about grant and felling licence applications, there is a formal process whereby an independent committee (the Forestry and Woodlands Advisory Committee, for the region) will examine the issues and provide a report to the Forestry Commissioners who will then make a final decision


  • an appeal is a more formal process. It is usually governed by legislation that determines who you can appeal to, when and under what circumstances

How to make a complaint

Step 1
Initially, we deal with all complaints covering EIA, grants and felling licences. Your first point of contact should always be your Regional Director to discuss issues you wish to raise. If you are unsure who this is, contact your local area office

Step 2
If the Regional Director cannot resolve your complaint, you can write to Mr. Ian Gambles, Director England, Forestry Commission England, setting out the issues that you wish to raise. 

Step 3
If your complaint still remains unresolved after step 2, you may contact an appropriate non-executive Commissioner.  They are impartial individuals drawn from a variety of backgrounds to provide a balance of interests and expertise to the Board of Commissioners. If you want your case to be presented to the Commissioners, please write, clearly setting out the reasons for your complaint, to the address given below requesting that the complaint be passed to an appropriate Commissioner. An acknowledgement will be given and then within 4 weeks, a full response. You will be notified if more time is needed to fully investigate your complaint.

Secretary to the Commissioners
Forestry Commission
231 Corstorphine Road
EH12 7AT

How to make an appeal

In all cases our complaints procedure should be your first course of action if you have are unhappy with a decision we have made. Some of the legislation relevant to the work we do offers a right of appeal under certain circumstances.

If you would like to make an appeal, use the table from the link below.  This will explain what you have to do. It covers legislation that governs the type of appeal, and the circumstances, under which you can make an appeal. For example, conditions apply to the time within which you can make an appeal, to whom and on what grounds.

Appeals Procedure (PDF 100kb)


Last updated: 6th May 2017