Biodiversity Offsetting – what impact will ‘offsetting’ have on ancient woodland?

Woodland Matters

One of our key principles for any biodiversity offsetting scheme is that ancient woodland should not be part of it. There are two questions within the Government’s offsetting Green Paper which offer support to that view, shown below with our view at this stage:

  • Do you agree with the proposed exceptions to the routine use of biodiversity offsetting? If not, why not? If you suggest additional restriction, why are they needed?

In the consultation Defra has identified a number of existing constraints on development including ancient woodland and SSSIs. We agree that any new offsetting scheme should not override pre-existing protection provided through planning legislation and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) specifically mentions that ancient woodland and trees should be given special consideration within planning decisions.

  •  Which habitats do you think should be considered irreplaceable?

The consultation identifies ancient woodland and limestone pavement as irreplaceable habitats which should not be…

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