Licences required for felling trees, warns Forestry Commission

A spate of unauthorised tree felling in Aberdeenshire and Moray has prompted Forestry Commission Scotland to remind landowners, householders and businesses thinking of felling trees that they need to check with the Commission about obtaining a felling licence.

Tim Gordon Roberts, for the Commission’s Grampian Conservancy team, said;

“It is an offence to fell over 5 cubic metres of trees without having a felling licence. There are a few exemptions where a licence is not required but in most cases it’s likely that you will need one.

“There are land management restrictions and planning controls that also prohibit felling and it can sometimes be quite tricky to know that you’ve covered all of the bases.

“That is why we always advise people to check with their local Conservancy office and get some advice from myself or one of my colleagues on how to proceed.

“Getting it wrong could involve a court case and fine and you will still be required to replant the felled area. A licence is free - and so is our advice - so it makes sense to give us a call so that we can help to get you started.”

Everyone involved in the felling of trees - the owner, agent, timber merchant or contractor - must ensure that a licence has been issued before any felling is carried out, unless any of the exemptions apply.

If there is no licence or other valid permission in place, or if the wrong trees are felled, anyone involved can be prosecuted.

You can find more information about felling licences online  or if you would like advice or a support visit please contact the Forestry Commission on 01466 794542.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Tha FCS pàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba; a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìon, a' cumail smachd air, agus a' leudachadh choilltean gus buannachdan a choileanadh dha coimhearsnachdan, dhan eaconamaidh agus ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh sa ghnàth-shìde.
  3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.