Mixed Deciduous Woodland Conservation
Barnsley’s woodland cover at almost 10% is about the same as the national average, far less than in many European countries. Our semi-natural deciduous woodland is even less at 7%, 2260 ha, and much of this is not managed for biodiversity.
Causes of loss or decline of Deciduous Woodland habitat
National policies have a presumption against clearance of or development on semi-natural woodland.
The NPPF strengthens the protection of ‘irreplaceable’ ancient woodland with Standing Advice issued on protecting ancient woodland.
Thinning or clearance of woodland requires a felling licence from the Forestry Commission and this will stipulate type and level of restocking.
Although there are no woodland SSSIs in Barnsley, woodland identified as Local Wildlife Sites has a presumption against permission for change of use.
Individual or groups of trees may be protected by Tree Preservation Orders.
Felling and management where protected species are present may commit offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Protected species include all breeding birds and all species of bats. Licences may be needed from Natural England.
Natural England: Standing Advice on ancient woodland
Woodland Trust: Improving woodland
Buglife: Managing oakwoods
Butterfly conservation: Management
Good management practice
Note: The online Woodland Wildlife Toolkit (2019) gives information on different aspects of managing woodland for wildlife. It includes proformas for assessing woodland condition and for planning its management. It gives access to lists held nationally of species recorded near specific woodlands; records from the local record centre and additional surveys will also be important.