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What if a woodland is outside an Ancient Woodland Priority Areas?

View out along the ancient woodland edge, Sloden Inclosure. New Forest Forest ParkWoodland near Ancient Woodland Priority Area boundaries

The AWPA boundaries have a clear perimeter, but these are indicative and applications on the periphery can be considered for inclusion where benefits will link into the adjacent AWPA. Linkage and connectivity to woodlands and semi-natural habitats within the AWPA will be assessed in these cases using landscape network maps. Evidence that rare woodland dependent species, such as Lesser spotted woodpecker or Bechstein’s bat are using woodlands on the periphery of the priority areas will strengthen the case for inclusion.

Woodland away from Ancient Woodland Priority Areas

The AWPAs have been created to focus our work on landscape-scale improvements in our ancient and native woodlands. The rationale behind the encouragement of landscape scale working is that robust habitat networks can be protected and enhanced thus benefiting species dependant on woodland which require extensive areas to thrive.

Ancient Woodland Priority Areas do not encapsulate all the potential landscape scale improvements in the region. Therefore we will consider applying the 80% Woodland Improvement Grant elsewhere, where this improvement can be demonstrated on a landscape scale.  Examples may include individual owners or groups of owners who can bring about this scale of improvement. Where individual woodland areas are not extensive an applicant will need to demonstrate linkage either with other ancient woodlands or semi-natural habitats.

Each application will be assessed on its relative merits.  The discretionary system will be reviewed periodically [in consultation with the Ancient Woodland Working Group and the Applicants Focus Group]. 

Please contact your local Woodland Officer for further information.