Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Forestry grants and licences

In Scotland if you are looking for general information relating to forestry, the availability of grants and the licences you may need, you should contact the Forestry Commission.

In Northern Ireland you should contact the Forest Service, an agency of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARDNI).

These organisations protect the UK's forests and encourage good forestry practice by:

  • setting standards
  • giving advice and information
  • offering grants for expanding, regenerating and managing forests and woodlands
  • administering the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations for forestry operations
  • issuing licences for felling operations.

Forestry Commission

Northern Ireland Forest Service

UK Forestry Standard

The Forestry Commission and Forest Service have produced the UK Forestry Standard, which sets out criteria and standards for sustainable woodland management.

You must comply with the UK Forestry Standard to obtain approval under EIA regulations and to qualify for forestry grant schemes and felling licences.

You must also follow the Forestry Commission's good practice guidelines.

Forestry Commission: UK Forestry Standard (Adobe PDF - 974KB)

Forestry Commission: Forests and climate change guidelines

Forestry Commission: Forests and water

Environmental Impact Assessment

You may need to carry out an environmental impact assessment (EIA) if your operations involve planting, road construction or felling. This depends on the scale and location of the work. The forestry organisations provide more information on EIAs.

Northern Ireland - Forest Service: Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations

Scotland - Forestry Commission: Environmental Impact Assessment


The Forestry Commission and Northern Ireland Forest Service provide up-to-date information on grants and schemes for forestry and woodland.

Northern Ireland - Forest Service: Forestry grant information

Scotland - Forestry Commission: Grants and licences

Felling trees

In Scotland you will need a licence or an approved forestry plan to fell trees.

In Northern Ireland, owners of private woodlands of 0.2 hectares or more will need a licence to fell trees, and will be required to re-establish the woodland under an approved felling management plan. (Certain exemptions apply).The Forest Service will administer felling licence applications through its Felling Licence Branch, which will also be available to assist with queries and advice.

Forestry Commission: Felling licences

Forest Service Northern Ireland

Tree preservation orders

Where a tree preservation order (TPO) has been made on an individual tree, or group of trees, you will be committing an offence if you cut down or carry out any work on the trees without permission. TPOs can require the replanting of trees or woodland which have been felled in the course of your forestry operations, or which have been felled unlawfully.

In Scotland you should contact your local planning authority to check whether there are any TPOs in force where you are working. In Northern Ireland you should contact your Local Council.

UK Clearing House Mechanism for Biodiversity: Tree protection

Additional resources


Whats new on NetRegs

  • Waste – Duty of Care Roles and Responsibilities

    The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.


  • Please let us know your thoughts on our new website

    What do you think about our new and improved website. We want your feedback on what you like, what you don’t like and ways we can continue to improve the website. Follow the link to complete the very short survey: NetRegs website – User feedback

  • NEW guidance on Environmental Management Systems

    We have recently updated and improved our guidance on Environmental Management Systems (EMS). You can find the guidance via the Environmental Topics tab or alternatively select the following link Environmental Management Systems (EMS).

  • Consultation on proposed changes to the packaging recycling business targets

    See NI Future legislation or Scotland Future legislation for details of the Consultation


  • NIEA Guidance - Greenfield Excavated Matrials in Construction

    NIEA and the CEF have developed a Regulatory Position to promote Sustainable re-use of natural excavated material from Greenfield sites.

    NIEA: Guidance on the Regulation of Greenfield Excavated Materials in Construction and Development

  • New GPP 2 Above Ground Oil Storage

    The replacements for the PPGs are being developed. Now available GPP 2 Above Ground Oil Storage

  • SEPA Consultation on an Intergated Authorisation Framework

    SEPA is asking for your views on the proposals for integrated authorisations.

    Consultation documents

  • GPP 24 Stables, Kennels and Catteries

    NEW GPP 24 now available: Stables, Kennels and Catteries

  • ENDS Award winner

    NetRegs; Winner of a prestigious ENDS award 2017

    Knowledge development category winner, see the ENDS Awards

  • NetRegs wins an ENDS Environmental Impact Award

    Knowledge development category winners, see the END Awards

  • EIA (Agriculture) Regulations for Northern Ireland

    Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

    Read more on the DAERA website

  • Download our NEW leaflet today: Duty of Care for waste

    NetRegs have produced a new leaflet for Scottish businesses explaining what you must do to comply with YOUR duty of care for waste.

    Duty of Care for waste (Scotland) leaflet (PDF - 775KB)


NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!


NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms