The felling licence is a straightforward statutory instrument that gives permission to fell trees and is separate from the offer of incentives. There are many situations where a
felling licence will be the most appropriate way to get approval for forestry proposals. Felling licences offer proportionate and expedient regulation to suit many UK
situations, particularly where management activities are of limited scope, modest impact or infrequent occurrence.In Northern Ireland, a felling management plan will be an
integral part of a felling licence under the Forestry Act (Northern Ireland) 2010.
A felling licence gives the owner the legal authority to proceed on the basis of the discrete operational area and activity involved. The licence requires the applicant to submit a range of information and to exercise good forestry practice. However, the licence does not extend to the wider context and area covered by a forest management plan – as a result, there will be UKFS Requirements and Guidelines that are not relevant or applicable to the individual licence area.
While the Requirements and Guidelines that are relevant or applicable to the licence area must be complied with, the limited scope of a felling licence necessarily restricts
the levels of assurance that can be provided in relation to sustainable forest management. Accordingly, the minimum levels of UKFS assurance provided by a felling licence will be confined to the discrete operational area and defined as:
• Environmental suitability to the site.
• Conservation of high-value habitats and protected sites.
• Protection of society values and the provision of opportunities for public comment.
• Protection of the forest area through a replanting