Penalties for forestry work carried out without consent

If Forestry Commission Scotland discovers that work is being carried out without consent (subject to Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations), or an applicant is breaching the terms of a previously granted consent, we may serve an Enforcement Notice to put things right.

The Enforcement Notice is a legal document. If a person on whom a notice has been served does not comply with the terms written in the Notice, this is an offence. They may on summary conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding £5000.

Who can be served an Enforcement Notice?

An Enforcement Notice can be served on:

  • the person carrying out the work, possibly the contractor;
  • the property owner; or
  • any other people who have sufficient interest in the property (allowing them to carry out the work without the need to get permission from anyone else)

What the Enforcement Notice specifies

The Enforcement Notice requires a person to take one or more of the following measures:

  • apply to Forestry Commission Scotland for consent;
  • restore the land to the condition it was in before any work on the relevant project was carried out;
  • carry out any work on the land that is reasonably necessary to ensure the terms of the consent are complied with;
  • remove or alleviate any damage or injury to the environment that has been caused by the relevant project; or
  • stop the work in relation to the relevant project

When an Enforcement Notice can be served

Forestry Commission Scotland can serve an Enforcement Notice when they discover that a person:

  • is carrying out or has carried out work where consent would be required, or
  • is in breach of a condition of a consent already given.

Period of the notice

The notice can specify the period during which any of the first four measures specified in the above list must be taken. Different periods can be specified for different measures.

Fines

If a person does not comply with an Enforcement Notice then they are guilty of an offence and may on summary conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.

Forms and booklets

The Environmental Impact Assessment of Forestry Projects (PDF 1.1Mb) booklet provides a summary of the process of getting consent.