Planning authorities exert a strong influence over future woodland expansion, the control of woodland removal and the development of the forestry industry in their areas.

The Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018 places a duty on Scottish Ministers and Scottish public authorities to promote sustainable forest management, when exercising any of their functions. 

The right tree in the right place

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The right tree in the right place provides guidance to planning authorities on the multiple benefits that can be derived from well-planned and well-managed woodlands and encourages them to prepare new forestry and woodland strategies to guide future woodland expansion.

It also provides advice on how forestry and woodland considerations can be incorporated into development planning and management. Scottish Forestry can provide advice and support to planning authorities during the development of such strategies.

Getting permission to fell trees

The felling of trees is regulated under the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018.

It is an offence to fell trees without permission from Scottish Forestry, under either a felling permission or a felling direction, unless there's an exemption. Further information is available on the felling permissions pages. 

Felling authorised by planning permission

Where full planning permission authorises the felling of trees on a development site, no further consent is required under the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018, however, the approved planning permission must expressly specify tree felling and should also be recorded on the map/plan.

Contact the local Scottish Forestry office if you are not certain whether exemptions apply.