With the creation of the new Woods under Threat (WuT) database that has been mentioned in my previous post it has meant that we are now able to analyse the data that we have collected over the last 10 years across the UK.
At the moment the Woods under Threat team have 85 ongoing cases in the UK involving 387 woods, 340 of which are ancient woodland and 47 are non ancient woodland. A case can involve more than one ancient wood, a perfect example of this is High Speed 2 which is one case, but it is involving 21 ancient woods. Cases that involve ancient woodland are also able to involve other woodland sites.
We have recently carried out mapping work so that all of the ongoing cases in the UK can now be downloaded and viewed by everyone. We also have maps that show all of the woods that have come under threat in the last 10 years for England and we are currently working on uploading the map that we have for all woods under threat across the UK for the last 10 years.
This pie chart shows that in the last 10 years we have managed to save 43% of the woods that have been under threat. Currently 37% of the woods on the database are still under threat. This could potentially lead to the loss of near 600 hectares of ancient woodland if planning permission is granted.
There are 19 different types of threat on the database and these can be added to all the time. The largest three threats that ancient woods face are from Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications and Water, e.g transmission lines and also housing and roads which equate to over 50% of the woods that we have under threat on the database.
There are a variety of ways that woodland is affected by development. 29% of the woods on the database could or have suffered from damage due to the location of the development adjacent to them. Damage can be caused through a range of things, such as chemical drift or light pollution. Loss means the direct loss of the woodland. Loss and damage, which accounts for 63% of the woods on the database means that a woodland will suffer from direct loss, but there will be woodland remaining on site and the development will cause damage to the remaining woodland.
Most of the woods that are under threat in the UK occur in England, however we do not know if this is because we are not told about threats in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales or if it is just because in general more ancient woodland comes under threat in England.
This is why we need your help. Tune in for next weeks post to find out how you can help us to impove the stats and how you can report woods in your area that are under threat or woods, or even woods in your area that have been under threat and are now lost (or saved!).