Improving the protection and care of trees of special interest in Wales – latest developments

Ancient oak on private land that could benefit from our proposed changes

Ancient oak on private land that could benefit from our proposed changes

Following the presentation of a petition to the Welsh National Assembly by the Coed Cadw/Woodland Trust in 2012, we have continued to press for changes in legislation, policy and guidance so that the most valuable Welsh trees are less vulnerable to damage and loss. The Assembly provided three opportunities for changing the legislation to allow this to happen: the Heritage Bill, the Environment Bill and the Planning Bill.

The good news is the Welsh Government has prepared a discussion paper summarising the current protection from a Tree Preservation Order and some of the loopholes that allow important ancient and other veteran trees to slip through the net.

The paper is seen as a starting point. The intention is to convene a task and finish group of key people from a variety of stakeholder groups including those with expertise in tree protection and care. Members of the Welsh Government Woodland Strategy Advisory Panel, on which the Woodland Trust is represented, were invited to put forward names. The aim of the group is to explore what is needed and make recommendations to make tree protection fit for purpose. As a priority we wish to see a system that encourages owners to seek advice and funding to help them manage the trees according to best practice. Trees of special interest provide many benefits to society and we should avoid their untimely demise.

If trees have been protected by a Tree Preservation Order or need to be taken properly into consideration in development situations because of their significance we should all work together to make sure that the system is transparent, fair and effective.

We are delighted that this stage has been reached.

Jill Butler, Ancient Tree Adviser

About Kay Haw

Assistant Conservation Adviser, Woodland Trust. Nature is my passion, especially woods and trees which are just amazing elements of life. One day (soon) I hope we humans learn to work in harmony with Mother Earth.
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8 Responses to Improving the protection and care of trees of special interest in Wales – latest developments

  1. Peter Kyte says:

    Totally agree, that this is a step in the right direction, hopefully let us hope we can do the same thing in the rest of the UK.

  2. I was in Shropshire and Wales at the weekend. My mother-in-law brought the Holme Lacy Pear Tree to my attention as she has a tree in her heritage allotments that comes from the original tree. I’m just amazed at the age and history of this extraordinary tree and really hope this new law will help preserve it! http://www.certainlytrees.co.uk/2011/10/03/the-holme-lacy-pear/

  3. Ash says:

    Another step in the right direction. Keep up the good work & the pressure.

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