Fast tracking felling permission for wind blow

You need felling permission to fell windblown trees. This includes amending a Long Term Forest Plan if the blown area is not an existing coupe. 

We're able to fast-track felling permission applications to deal with wind blow, to avoid unnecessary delays in dealing with these difficult situations. 

If the area has significant environmental sensitivities it's unlikely to be suitable for fast tracking. 

You must be the owner or a mandated agent to apply. See section 4 of the 'Felling permission' web page. 

Applications that are fast-tracked will not be placed on the Public Register. 

Using the Public Register is usual practice as it helps to ensure our decisions on felling permission are based on the best information available to them. However, in these circumstances the overriding priority is to ensure the felling is done legally (through permission), safely (well planned and executed ensuring the safety of people and the environment) and UKFS compliant restocking is secured.

Exemptions

Before applying for a fast-tracked application, applicants should consider whether any of the existing exemptions apply in the first instance, by referring to The Forestry (Exemptions) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 and Appendix 1 of our felling permission application guidance.

You can also view felling permission exemptions for utilities and infrastructure

Please note, the burden of proof to demonstrate an exemption applies lies with the person claiming the exemption. Therefore, we advise that you take photographs of the situation and record any decisions you make in your risk assessment and method statement for the job. You should keep these records for 3 years.

If none of the exemptions apply you must apply for felling permission.

When you submit your application you should clearly state that it relates to wind blow and request that it is fast-tracked.

To enable us to assess your application as quickly as possible, you should include photographs of the site in question and a clear map of the extent of the wind blown area to be felled. 

Any additional areas that are not blown but need to be felled to allow access, safe felling of the blown trees, or to establish a wind firm boundary, should also be clearly identified on the map and accompanying photographs.

Restocking

Felling permission for wind blow will normally include a condition to restock. We expect your restocking proposal to include the entire felled area. Consideration should be given to the resilience of the future stand in order to take account of wind events and other climate change related risks. Restocking proposals may include open ground and a change to the species being planted.

Relevant links

Storm Arwen information