The scoping process

Scoping takes place once a decision has been made that your forestry project will require our consent. Scoping provides an opportunity for us, you and other interested parties to determine what the main effects of the forestry project are likely to be, thereby defining the content of the EIA). 

We recommend you use a Woodland Creation Processing Agreement (WCPA) for all woodland creation proposals needing EIA consent. The WCPA sets out the key stages involved in determining a major woodland creation proposal, identifying what's needed from those involved and setting realistic timescales for the delivery of the various stages of the process.

Hold a scoping meeting

It's essential that all the relevant parties meet to develop a clear understanding of the issues involved and how they might be taken account of within the project work. This is a standard procedure and is referred to as the ‘scoping’ meeting.

You should contact us to help you decide which organisations and individuals are relevant to your EIA forestry project.

EIA scoping checklist

The EIA Scoping Checklist is designed to help users identify the likely significant environmental effects of proposed projects in greater detail during scoping. It has been adapted from the European Commission scoping checklist to make it more specific to forestry projects.

Prepare an EIA report

The purpose of an EIA report is to give us and other interested parties an understanding of the consequences of the proposals.

View the Undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment in Forestry guidance for more information.

Submit your application

Once you've completed your application, send it and any supporting documentation to your local office.

Publicise the EIA report

Once we're satisfied that the EIA report addresses all the issues of concern as agreed at the scoping meeting then a public notice must be placed in a local newspaper, The Gazette and on our 'EIA projects web page'.

You must also make copies of the application available in public places. We'll help you decide the appropriate places to advertise the application and give details of the application to other parties as well as the local authority with an interest in the application. All parties need to provide us their comments within 30 days.

Please note, you're responsible for any advertisement costs.

You can get more information about the contents of the notice in the EIA for Forestry Projects guidance

When to expect a decision

We must make a decision on an EIA application within 6 months of the date we accept the application or within such other period as may be agreed with you.

We can decide one of the following about your application for consent. We can:

  • grant consent subject to the standard conditions (that the work must be started within 5 years from the date of consent and finished no later than 10 years from the date of consent)
  • grant consent subject to the standard conditions plus other conditions
  • refuse consent

Making our decision public

After notifying both you and other interested parties about the decision, we'll publish our decision on the EIA register.

We'll also advertise our decision in the same way in which the notice of the application for consent was placed.

Please note, we're responsible for the cost of this advertisement.