Additional measures for felling permission approvals

This information note outlines additional measures we're taking to simplify the Felling Permission Application (FPA) process for windblown trees.  The additional measures set out below only apply to forests and woodlands damaged as a result of Storm Arwen (26 to 27th November 2021). We'll review the implementation and effectiveness of these additional measures over the coming months to identify whether a similar approach could be adopted following future severe wind storm events.   

Restocking maps for fast-tracking FPA

Our published approach for clearfell, selective fell or felling of individual trees is for applicants to provide a fully detailed restocking map to support the application. This remains our preferred approach for windblown trees, however as an additional measure, we'll accept applications that do not include a detailed restocking map at time of submission.

The FPA must include the following details:

  • The type of restocking
  • The species of tree to be used for restocking
  • The restocking density, or the number of trees to be replanted in the felling area

Restocking maps that accurately reflect the details provided in the FPA must be submitted to us within one month of submitting the FPA.

All maps must be produced to our mapping standards.

Long Term Forest Plans (LTFP)

For woodlands covered by a LTFP you should refer to the tolerance table for guidance on whether approval is required in your situation. The information below relates to the standard tolerance table:

Up to 5 hectares (ha) of windblow clearance

The clearance of this scale of wind blow within the forest management unit can be approved by exchange of e-mails, including a map to show the extent of the damaged area.

More than 5 ha of windblow clearance

Clearance of more than 5 ha of wind blow will require a formal plan amendment. These applications can also be fast tracked. Visit our 'Felling changes, appeals and compensation' web page for details of how to apply for an amendment.

Sustainable timber production

To comply with UKFS, you should consider substituting the windblown timber volume for an equivalent volume in any stable, approved phase one and two coupes, that have yet to be felled. Re-allocating the standing volume to another phase will help to ensure a sustainable timber harvest for this and future rotations. You must demonstrate how this has been considered, when submitting an amendment for clearance of windblown timber. We are keen to support the sector to ensure that the flow of timber to market supports the industry.

Forest plan restocking

Restocking proposals should be in accordance with your approved ‘Restocking’ or ‘Future Species’ maps. If the damaged area is not included on these maps, then you will need to agree a suitable proposal with your local conservancy.

Environmental sensitivities and site constraints

Legal and good forestry practice requirements must still be complied with. 

It's important not to send surveyors on foot into the damaged areas as windblown trees are an extremely dangerous environment. Where possible use drone footage to help plan your operations. 

You should identify all known site constraints on operational plans and manage them as you would normally. This may require you to apply for other approvals from the relevant authority, to safely operate around the site feature to avoid or minimise damage. 

For unknown site constraints encountered during operations you should make provision to stop work immediately and contact the relevant authority to agree a suitable way to proceed with the operation. This may require you to apply for further approvals. Any agreements and approvals should be included in your revised operational plan and issued to all personnel accessing the site. You should check and record that operators understand the changes you've implemented.