Woodland Trust rails against decimation of ancient woodland

Huge tracts of ancient woodland - totalling the size of Birmingham - are being obliterated to make way for roads and buildings, say experts.

Woodland Trust said 100 square miles, 26,000ha, of old woods in the UK had come under threat of destruction in only 10 years.

The charity’s findings followed a 12-month study, which fingered several culprits: builders of roads and houses, airports, golf courses and utilities.

In the past decade 800 woods had been threatened, amounting to 5% of the total amount of ancient woodland remaining in the UK.

Ed Pomfret, a Woodland Trust campaigner, said: Half of the ancient woodland that existed in 1930 has been lost. Ancient woodland is the UK’s equivalent of rainforest.

And it is irreplaceable, having been wooded for over 400 years. It’s up to the public to put a stop to this destruction; we can’t rely on any official body to help us.

That was why the Woodland Trust was launching WoodWatch as the eyes and ears for trees, he said, urging locals to save their threatened woodlands.

In theory, the sites were protected by national policy, but loopholes allowed developers to override rules if they could prove an economic need.

If these woods were buildings they would be protected to the highest grading. But natural heritage is not afforded the same importance.

Visit: www.woodwatch.org.uk

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

How are employers in horticulture developing their offer to staff?

How are employers in horticulture developing their offer to staff?

Thanks to a skills shortage in horticulture, employers are working hard to enhance their offer to new recruits -- from training to profit-share schemes. Rachel Anderson reports on developments at six firms in very different branches of the industry.

Business planning - Dealing with skills shortages

Business planning - Dealing with skills shortages

A limited supply of labour makes it more important to be an attractive employer, says Neville Stein.

Business Planning - Be prepared for living wage rise

Business Planning - Be prepared for living wage rise

Cutting staff is not always a smart response to higher labour costs, writes Neville Stein.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +


The Horticulture Week Custodian Awards are open to all professionals responsible for the management and development of parks, gardens and other green spaces. Find out more about how and why you should enter the 2019 Custodian Awards.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs


Build your business with the latest public sector tenders covering landscape, arboriculture, grounds care, production and kit supplies. To receive the latest tenders weekly to your inbox sign up for our Tenders Tracker bulletin here.

HW Top UK Arboriculture Businesses

See our exclusive RANKING of arboriculture businesses by annual turnover. 


Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2018 winners.

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources