WuT you like to know

Over the years we have been made aware of an increasing number of planning applications which threaten woods and trees, or worse cause direct loss to our precious and vulnerable ancient woodland.  The Woods under Threat (WuT) team was created in the late 1990’s to respond to this.  In recent years we have also started to respond to planning applications where there is an indirect impact on ancient woodland, such as chemicals drifting into the wood from adjacent land use. 

Now we even have dedicated volunteers across the UK who help us to monitor planning applications and carry out research for us.  We also offer support to local community groups to help them fight threats to their local woods and trees through WoodWatch. This has meant that the team has more capacity to focus on those larger cases such as Oaken Wood and High Speed 2.  Cases like these could affect how ancient woodland is perceived in planning or could set a dangerous precedence for the future.

For every application that we responded to that involves ancient woodland we record it onto a Woods under Threat database.

Hi I’m Katharine. Welcome to my series of WuT posts.

The database used to be an unwieldy Microsoft Access database, however in the last two years we have done a lot of work and now have a shiny new database to use, and we are able to record lots of new information. 

In the last ten years the Woods under Threat team has fought 445 cases involving 1043 woods, 972 of which are ancient woodland and 71 are other woodland sites.

A case can involve more than one ancient wood; a perfect example of this is High Speed 2 which is one case, but at least 21 ancient woods are under threat from this route. 

In my next post I will talk about what information we have and how you can help us improve on it. 

We are the only organisation that on a regular basis records the ancient woodland under threat in the UK as well as how much ancient woodland has been lost so far.  However we know that we are not told about all threats to ancient woodland, we are sure that there is far more ancient woodland coming under threat and being lost than we are aware of.


About Katharine Rist

Campaigner- Ancient Woodland
This entry was posted in Campaigning, Climate Change, Planning, Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS), Woods Under Threat and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to WuT you like to know

  1. Pingback: One step closer: the fight to save Bluebell Wood | Woodland Matters

  2. Pingback: Please mind the gap | Woodland Matters

  3. It’s great that the Woodland Trust fights for ancient woodland protection in the UK but I’m wondering how the WT feels about their continuing partnership with IKEA who are logging ancient forests in Russia…? http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/may/29/ikea-ancient-tree-logging That’s what I’d like to know. Thanks in anticipation of a response.

  4. Gary Cowan says:

    In Wokingham Borough we are very concerned about the retention of trees in any proposed development and we will work to protect as many as we can. I am not convinced the new legislation gives the protection needed to our woodlands. We have recently opened a new country park in which we have planted many thousand of indigenous species of trees. I only hope all other councils do the same. Councillor Gary Cowan.

    • Katharine Rist says:

      Thanks for your comment. It is good to hear that you are planting thousands of trees. We are hoping that through neighbourhood planning we will help people to protect their local trees and woods and encourage more tree planting too. More details about how we are supporting people with their neighbourhood plans can be found here: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/neighbourhood-planning

  5. Pingback: WuT you like to help « Woodland Matters

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  7. John says:

    Thanks to all at the Woodland Trust for the work you’re doing to protect ancient and other important woodlands. And special thanks from Norwich for supporting our campaign to save Thorpe Woods from being turned into a housing estate by the people who own it.

    If anyone would like to learn more about this particular wood under threat, all you need to do is Google ‘save thorpe woods’ – our blog will be at the top of the results (or you can go direct to: http://www.savethorpewoodlands.blogspot.com ).

    Thanks again, and keep up the good work!

    • Katharine Rist says:

      Thanks for your comments.
      I hope that the campaign is going well.
      We will tweet out your link @woodlandtrust later on today.

Sorry, comments are closed as we have moved to a new site: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blogs/woodland-trust/

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