Licences and permissions

Date published: 4 August, 2015

When you apply to the Forestry Grant Scheme, the individual option guidance pages will detail the required information we expect to see on all applications.

The option guidance pages give you information about the scheme requirement for supporting evidence, maps, operational templates and other documents you must supply.

However for certain activities, or for certain sites, there are a number of things you may need to consider:

  • licences and permissions that you might need
  • if you need a protected species survey

When you first think of an idea that you wish to progress through the Forestry Grant Scheme, and consider that permissions or a licence may be required, you should contact your local Forestry Commission Scotland conservancy, or the relevant organisation, for advice at the earliest opportunity.

This should help you minimise any time spent applying for activities that are unlikely to receive consent and therefore funding. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have any necessary authorisation for the work that you wish to carry out.

Some examples of where you might require a particular authorisation include:

  • felling licence from Forestry Commission Scotland for tree felling/clearance and for removing heavy scrub under the Control of Scrub / Woody Vegetation capital item
  • authorisation from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency if activities or your operations may impact on water
  • permissions from local authorities on prior notification of access tracks

Access tracks created for forestry purposes are normally classed as permitted development.

However under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 (as amended) you must, in these circumstances, complete a prior notification form to tell the planning authority about any proposals that benefit from permitted development rights so they can decide whether you need to get approval beforehand (prior approval).

If you have already received consent, a licence or written approval from a consenting authority, you should upload a copy of the relevant documentation to accompany your online application.

You must ensure that you hold any required licence or consent before you start the activities/management for which a licence or consent is required.

There are several pieces of legislation giving protection to species found in Scotland.

In many cases it is an offence to kill or capture animals, including birds, or to uproot plants. The law also protects some wild creatures from disturbance or harassment, or disturbance of their nests or resting places. Examples of commonly encountered species are shown below.

Further details can be found on the Scottish Natural Heritage website.

You should therefore consider whether the management you propose will affect any protected species.

Commonly encountered protected species include:

  • bats, otters, great crested newts and natterjack toads – these are European Protected Species, protected under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended)
  • wild birds protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)
  • red squirrels, pine martens, water voles and other animals – these are listed on Schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)
  • badgers are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 (as amended)
  • plants listed on Schedule 8 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)

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