In the last decade, Britain's last few stretches of ancient woods have come under increasing threat. According to the Guardian newspaper, 100 areas of ancient woodland have been damaged or destroyed and another 500 threatened.
A loophole in the revised planning policy framework lets the threat continue. Despite the government claiming to value irreplaceable natural habitats and promising to protect them, it has kept a clause so subjective that destruction could very easily continue.
The policy says that applications to develop ancient woodland should be refused, unless "unless the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss". It just takes a few local government officials to decide that a new supermarket provides more benefits than a stretch of forest and the forest is gone.
Britain's ancient woods cannot be replaced. They need real protection, not vague promises. Ask the government to revise this startlingly weak policy as a matter of urgency.
We the undersigned ask that you drastically tighten up the National Planning Policy Framework to provide real protection for the country's last remaining ancient woodland. As it stands, the policy is so subjective that the threat of losing the last stretches of this irreplaceable habitat remains strong.
Thank you for your attention.