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Managment
Planning

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References


Woodland design: creation, felling and replanting

3.1Assessment of environmental impacts
3.1.1

Requirement

The environmental impacts of new planting and other woodland plans shall be assessed before operations are implemented, in a manner appropriate to the scale of the operations and the sensitivity of the site.

Means of verification

All woodlands:

  • Management planning documentation
  • Documented environmental impact assessment or ‘Appropriate Assessment’ where such has been requested by the FC or DARD.

Non-SLIM woodlands:

  • Design plans
  • Documented environmental appraisals.

Guidance

Depending on scale and sensitivity the assessment of environmental impacts may be:

  • Brief environmental appraisals for planting or felling which might affect sites recognised for cultural, landscape, hydrological or ecological value
  • Ecological assessments of ancient semi-natural woodland and projections of their response to management and natural processes
  • Specific assessments for unusual and/or extensive operations
  • Specialist advice on impacts of woodland operations on rare or vulnerable species or special sites
  • Specialist advice on the impact of woodland operations on historic environment sites and landscapes
  • Checks against relevant UK Biodiversity Action Plan Habitat Action Plans (HAPs) and Species Action Plans (SAPs) paying particular attention to BAP priority habitats and species.
3.1.2

Requirement

The impacts of woodland plans shall be considered at a landscape level, taking due account of the interaction with adjoining land and other nearby habitats.

Means of verification

All woodlands:

  • Management planning documentation
  • Maps
  • Discussions with the owner/manager.

Non-SLIM woodlands:

  • Design plans.

Guidance

In particular, planning including layout and design of woodland should take into account the following factors and action should be taken if required:

  • The character of other woodland in the area
  • Needs or impacts of animals (both wild and domestic) which use both woodland and surrounding land
  • Impacts on flora in the woodland and on surrounding land
  • Scale and pattern of open land
  • Habitats which are continuous from inside to outside the woodland (e.g. water courses)
  • Woodland margins as transitional habitats
  • Linking open space within the woodland with similar habitats outside
  • The spread of invasive species into or out of the woodland
  • Impacts on natural features (e.g. wetlands, rock exposures, drainage patterns)
  • Nature of historic landscapes and links with similar historic environment sites outside the woodland
  • Relevant UK Biodiversity Action Plan Habitat Action Plans (HAPs) and Species Action Plans (SAPs).
3.1.3

Requirement

The results of the environmental assessments shall be incorporated into planning and implementation in order to minimise adverse impacts.

Means of verification

  • Management planning documentation
  • Discussions with owner/manager
  • Field observations.