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Amend the 1967 Forestry Act to protect endangered wildlife habitat across the UK

Amend the 1967 Forestry Act to protect endangered wildlife habitat across the UK

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229243 

Under the Forestry Act, in Scotland licences to fell woodland can be refused to protect endangered forest wildlife or granted with conditions to safeguard animals. Elsewhere in the UK, authorities cannot consider the impact upon wildlife such as red squirrel or bats when assessing applications.
Commercial forests provide jobs and produce valuable products. They can also contain rare and endangered wildlife. In some instances habitat loss may threaten populations with extinction. It makes sense that this risk should be considered when authorities consider a licence to cut down woodland.
Red squirrels and their nests are protected by law and yet the trees they live in are not. Let the rest of the UK follow Scotland's example and allow key woodland habitat to be protected too when needed


2,015 signatures on 11th November

Created by Craig Shuttleworth Deadline 6 May 2019

The only thing I have not yet done is satisfy myself that it is related to A Peoples Manifesto for Wildlife. It seems to be on the face of it. I'll add it to my very long' to do' list.

I note that it does not suggest the legislative changes needed, or whether the changes needed in Wales would be different.

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Comments 1

Guest - D Craig Shuttleworth on Saturday, 08 June 2019 20:24

Thank you for highlighting the petition. That was extremely kind. It reached 11,000 signatures and helped (along with a lot of lobbying and direct meetings) to get change in Wales. Here, Natural Resources Wales have called for the ability to refuse felling licences or issue them with 'enforceable wildlife conditions". The Welsh Environment Minister has stated she is aware of the weakness in the legislation and has pledged to work with NRW to revise laws. In England, Forestry Commission have said "NO" and that the status quo is the "bottom line!" - very disappointing. In addition, the DEFRA response to the 11K signatures was to reply but not answer with respect to habitat loss (which was a key element of the petition). Following their response, the Parliamentary Petition Committee suggested I write to DEFRA voicing my concerns - what followed has led to Hywel Williams MP submitting a complaint on my behalf to the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsmen. Meanwhile Natural England it seems were never asked to give a view before DEFRA replied to the Petition Committee until I complained. It was April 25th before two members of that agency discussed the DEFRA reply and said they had nothing to add - except oddly that if future legislation were to be drafted on felling they would like to see it take account of current conservation concerns - which was the whole point of the petition... More info https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/red-squirrels-rare-woodland-wildlife-british-outdated-tree-felling-a8665491.html and the latest petition aimed at England https://www.change.org/p/forestry-commission-england-end-the-killing-of-baby-red-squirrels-and-other-rare-wildlife-change-the-uk-forestry-act

Thank you for highlighting the petition. That was extremely kind. It reached 11,000 signatures and helped (along with a lot of lobbying and direct meetings) to get change in Wales. Here, Natural Resources Wales have called for the ability to refuse felling licences or issue them with 'enforceable wildlife conditions". The Welsh Environment Minister has stated she is aware of the weakness in the legislation and has pledged to work with NRW to revise laws. In England, Forestry Commission have said "NO" and that the status quo is the "bottom line!" - very disappointing. In addition, the DEFRA response to the 11K signatures was to reply but not answer with respect to habitat loss (which was a key element of the petition). Following their response, the Parliamentary Petition Committee suggested I write to DEFRA voicing my concerns - what followed has led to Hywel Williams MP submitting a complaint on my behalf to the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsmen. Meanwhile Natural England it seems were never asked to give a view before DEFRA replied to the Petition Committee until I complained. It was April 25th before two members of that agency discussed the DEFRA reply and said they had nothing to add - except oddly that if future legislation were to be drafted on felling they would like to see it take account of current conservation concerns - which was the whole point of the petition... More info https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/red-squirrels-rare-woodland-wildlife-british-outdated-tree-felling-a8665491.html and the latest petition aimed at England https://www.change.org/p/forestry-commission-england-end-the-killing-of-baby-red-squirrels-and-other-rare-wildlife-change-the-uk-forestry-act
Guest
Friday, 23 August 2019