What is woodland removal?

Woodland removal is defined as the permanent removal of woodland for the purposes of conversion to another type of land use. It does not include the removal of trees associated with the internal re-design of woodlands to meet the UK Forestry Standard.

In Scotland, climate change and human activities such as housing or wind farm developments has led to extensive woodland removal. To support and add to Scotland’s forests and woodland resources, we need to stop inappropriate woodland loss.

Policy on the control of woodland removal

The Scottish Government's policy on control of woodland removal gives direction for decisions on woodland removal in Scotland. 

We've published guidance on how to apply the Scottish Government's policy on control of woodland removal. The guidance applies to both consenting authorities and applicants.

More guidance for planning authorities

We've published guidance on planning for forestry and woodlands, which advises planning authorities on how to prepare new forestry and woodland strategies to guide future woodland expansion.

It also gives advice on how forestry and woodland considerations can be brought into development planning and management. 

Woodland removal for peatland restoration

We've published guidance on woodland removal for peatland restoration, which advises what's needed when considering peatland restoration projects that involve tree felling.

Read the woodland removal guidance.

Getting permission to fell trees

It's an offence to fell trees without permission from us, under either a felling permission or a felling direction, unless there's an exemption.

Visit our 'Felling permissions' web page for more information.