Appendix 4 Fact sheets for sensitivities not shown on the Woodland Opportunities Map

Neighbours and communities 

UKFS – UK Forests and People - Legal 1,2 

Where to find information

Talk to the landowner and check maps to make sure you have identified all nearby dwellings, communities, and others with an interest. Start with immediate neighbours, especially any properties that overlook the proposed planting area. Consider engaging with local communities, especially if the planting area will be visible from them or if it is accessed by public rights of way. 

Impact on a GWC application

Local objections can significantly delay a scheme and may even prevent it from going ahead. 

Considering community engagement is a requirement of the UKFS; even if the area is not accessible to the public. Early engagement can reduce the likelihood of misconceptions leading to negative reactions to your plans. It’s important to be proactive, once you lose local goodwill it can be hard to win it back. 

If you can improve understanding of the vision for the new woodland, and the benefits of woodland creation, this may lead to higher levels of support when opportunities arise, such as volunteering or open days. 

If your proposal requires consent under the Environmental Impact Assessment (England and Wales) Amendment Regulations 2017, there will be specific requirements for public engagement as part of the process.

Guidelines

  • Identify anyone with an interest in the woodland creation proposal, including neighbours and other interested parties. For larger schemes, community engagement events may be necessary
  • Keep records of discussions with stakeholders, as well as details of notifications and responses received
  • Consider whether amendments to your plan may remove any local concerns
  • Include details of how and when local communities were consulted when submitting your plan

Useful information 

Public Rights of Way 

UKFS – Forests and People - Legal 1,2

Where to find information

Public rights of way (PRoW) are highways just like the ordinary road network and they are afforded same legal protection. The most reliable source of information on the location and status of PRoW is the Definitive Map and Statement held by the local highway authority and some authorities publish an online version. Don’t just rely on looking for signs and stiles during site visits as there may be no sign of a PRoW on the ground. Use Ordnance Survey maps with caution; their PRoW information is not completely reliable and their maps carry a specific disclaimer to reflect this. 

Impact on a GWC application

We will check for PRoW when we verify your plan. Planting must not obstruct a PRoW and sufficient clearance must be given to avoid growing plants becoming a problem as they develop. You may wish to consult your local authority rights of way officer if in doubt. You may only erect new stiles or gates (known as ‘limitations’) across a PRoW with formal authority from the highway authority so bear this in mind when planning any proposed fencing.

Guidelines

  • Identify the location of all PRoW in your plan and ensure they will not be obstructed by the proposed planting
  • When submitting your plan, provide evidence of authorisation for new ‘limitations’ if your proposal involved erecting fences across a PRoW
  • If the area contains a promoted route such as a National Trail, then contact glastirqueries@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk for specific advice

Useful information 

Special Landscape Areas 

UKFS – Forests and Landscape Forest Practice 1-2; Forest Guidelines 3, 7, 24 

Where to find this information

Special Landscape Areas (SLAs) are non-statutory local landscape designations used by some local authorities, such as Carmarthenshire, to define areas of high landscape importance, but which are outside of statutory designations such as National Parks or AONBs. 

Very few authorities make the information available on their websites and it is not recorded on the Lle website. It can therefore be difficult to identify when a scheme is affected. 

We recommend that if your scheme area is over 5 ha, you should contact the Glastir team and ask us to check whether it affects an SLA, and if so, you can carry out an early consultation. 

Impact on a GWC application

We will require a consultation from the local authority landscape officer or our regional landscape advisor if a Glastir Woodland Creation scheme is in Special Landscape Area and is over 5Ha. 

You will need consider any advice provided and take account of it into your plan.

Guidelines

  • If your scheme is over 5 ha we recommend that you contact glastirqueries@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk.  when developing your plan and ask us to check whether it affects an SLA, and carry out an early consultation if it does
  • Incorporate any advice provided in your plan and include the consultation response when submitting it for verification

Useful information 

  • Some local authorities publish information about their SLAs on their websites

Veteran Trees (including ancient, notable and heritage trees) 

UKFS – Forests and Biodiversity Forest Guidelines 23, 24; Forests and Historic Environment Good Forest Practice 4; Forest Guidelines 6 

Where to find this information 

You can check if a veteran tree is recorded in the Ancient Tree Inventory https://ati.woodlandtrust.org.uk/ though this inventory is not exhaustive.

Impact on a GWC application

Veteran, ancient, notable and heritage trees provide exceptional cultural, historical, landscape and nature conservation value because of their great age, size or condition. Veteran trees within or adjacent to a proposed planting site should be identified through a site visit and recorded on the woodland creation plan. This should include details of how these trees will be protected.

Guidelines

  • There must be no conifer planting or pre-planting mechanical preparation within: -
    • either 5m from the edge of the veteran tree canopy
    • or a length from the tree trunk which is 15 times the diameter of the veteran tree (tree diameter at breast height) measured from the tree trunk whichever is the greater distance
  • Within this defined buffer of a veteran tree, there must be open ground

Useful information

Water Bodies 

UKFS – Forest & Biodiversity - Forest Guidelines 30,31; Forests & Soil - Forest Guidelines 17;

Forests & Water - Legal 10; Good Forest Practice 5; Forest Guidelines 19. 86, 87 

Where to find information

All lakes, ponds, rivers, streams and drainage ditches should be identified using both maps and site visits. 

Impact on a GWC application

New planting should follow UKFS Forest & Water guidelines and new planting proposals within 8m of a designated main river  (and/or a flood defence structure) will likely require a Flood Risk Activity permit under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (2016).

Guidelines

  • New planting in the riparian buffer of a watercourse should follow guidance in UKFS – plant native broadleaves at 1,600 trees/Ha to create more dappled shade within 10m of watercourses over 2m wide and within 5m of watercourses less than 2m wide (depending on the width of a watercourse)
  • Leave 50m open ground or riparian buffer (partial woodland) around abstraction points for public and private water supplies
  • Within defined buffer areas, limit cultivation to hinge mounding
  • Do not plant within 8m of a river flood defence structure unless you have a Flood Risk Activity Permit

Useful information 

Wayleaves 

UKFS – General Forest Practice - Legal 1 

Where to find information

Apparatus may be overhead or underground and can include electricity, gas, telecommunications, water, and sewerage. They are not marked on the Woodland Opportunities Map so you need to talk to the landowner, look for evidence during site visits, and if you are still not sure then consult service providers directly or use a search service.

During works you may need to employ cable avoidance techniques if working near underground services. 

Impact on a GWC application

You need to consult with any affected utility provider to get their agreement to the planting and agree any measure to avoid affecting their apparatus. Different providers have different requirements.

Guidelines

  • Identify all overhead and underground services
  • Understand and apply the relevant service provider’s guidelines
  • Provide evidence when you submit your plan for verification

Useful information 

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