A Guide To Assessment For Forestry Licences.
If you’re a forester applying for a forestry licence, you’re probably already aware of the importance of ecology and biodiversity assessment. It’s a critical component of the application process, as it ensures that your activities comply with regulations, are sustainable and won’t cause harm to the environment or any protected species or habitats.
In this article, we hope to provide a complete guide to the required assessment for forestry licence applications across the lifecycle, including afforestation licence, reforestation licence, felling forestry licence, and forest road licence. We’ll answer the most asked questions and provide insights into the specific assessment required for each licence type.
What assessment is required for an Afforestation Licence?
An Afforestation Licence is required for planting new forests or woodlands. You must provide an ecological assessment of the proposed afforestation site to obtain this licence. This assessment is required to ensure that the afforestation activities are sustainable and will not cause harm to the environment or any protected species or habitats.
The ecological assessment required by the Forest Service includes three main components:
- Appropriate Assessment Screening: This preliminary screening process is conducted to determine whether there is a potential for significant environmental impact on any protected habitats or species. It is a legal requirement under the European Habitats Directive and Birds Directive.
- Natura Impact Statement (NIS): A more detailed Natura Impact Statement is required if the Appropriate Assessment Screening indicates a significant impact on protected habitats or species is possible. The NIS provides a comprehensive assessment of the potential impact of the proposed afforestation activities on the environment, including any potential impacts on the integrity of Natura 2000 sites (sites designated under the European Union’s Habitats and Birds Directives).
- Habitat Map or Ecology Report: Depending on the results of the Natura Impact Statement, a Habitat Map or Ecology Report may be required. This provides more detailed information on the site’s ecology, including any protected habitats or species and any potential impacts on them from the proposed afforestation activities.
The ecological assessment required for an Afforestation Licence is a complex process that requires the expertise of qualified and experienced professionals. It is essential that the assessment is thorough and accurate to ensure that the licence application is approved in a timely and efficient manner.
In addition to the ecological assessment, other factors that may be considered in the Afforestation Licence application process include the site’s suitability for afforestation, the type of trees to be planted, and the management plan for the new woodland. This is the forester’s area of expertise. However, Southern Scientific Services may be able to assist in the assessment of site suitability in a number of ways, such as water and soil testing.
What assessment is required for Reforestation Licence?
A Reforestation Licence is required when a forested area needs to be replanted. This may be necessary due to deforestation, natural disasters, or disease. The ecological assessment requirement for a reforestation licence may be similar to an afforestation licence. However, the reforestation site may likely be more sensitive than previously considered. Thus, the impact on the site’s ecology and Natura 2000 sites would be the main concern.
What assessment is required for Felling Forestry Licences?
Felling Forestry Licences are required to remove trees from a forested area. The potential impact from tree felling generally relates to off-site impacts, such as the impact on wildlife habitats, water quality, and carbon storage. The Appropriate Assessment Screening process will most likely lead to the preparation of a Natura Impact Statement.
Depending on the results of the Natura Impact Statement, mitigation measures may be required to prevent any significant environmental impact. These measures may include the preservation of certain trees, the protection of habitats, and the establishment of new habitats.
What assessment is required for a Forest Road Licence?
A Forest Road Licence is required to construct or upgrade a forest road. The potential impact from forest road construction generally relates to off-site impacts, such as the impact on wildlife habitats, water quality, and carbon storage. The Appropriate Assessment Screening process may lead to preparing a Natura Impact Statement if mitigation is required to prevent any significant impact on Natura 2000 sites.
In addition to the ecological assessment, other factors that may be considered in the Forest Road Licence application process include the suitability of the road location, the construction methods to be used, and the management plan for the forested area.
In conclusion, the assessment services required for forestry licences are essential to the application process. By understanding the specific requirements for each forestry licence type, you can ensure you meet all necessary regulations and mitigate any potential environmental impact. Be sure to work with a qualified and experienced ecological assessment provider to ensure that your assessment is thorough and accurate and that your licence application is approved in a timely and efficient manner.
Southern Scientific has over 28 years of experience, and our team has evaluated over 150 forestry licence applications in the last year, making us the perfect partner to help you apply and process forestry licence applications across the full life cycle.
If you can’t take the action you need on your site because of a Further Information Request from the Forest Service:
📞 Contact Southern Scientific at 066 976 35 88 to get started today.
You’ll receive a consultation, a quote and a complimentary alkalinity test to help you get the needed reports to get your site moving.