PE01812: Protect Scotland's remaining ancient, native and semi-native woodlands and woodland floors

Environment Energy

Petitioner: Audrey Baird and Fiona Baker on behalf of Help Trees Help Us


Date Lodged: 05 August 2020

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to deliver world-leading legislation giving Scotland's remaining fragments of ancient, native and semi-native woodlands and woodland floors full legal protection before COP 26 (UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties) in Glasgow in November 2021.  

Petition History:



17 September 2020: The Committee agreed to write to NatureScot, Strategic Development Planning Authorities and Scottish Land and Estates. Link to the Official Report of Meeting 17 September 2020

13 January 2021: The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the petition to its next meeting. Link to Official Report of Meeting 13 January 2021

27 January 2021: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report of Meeting 27 January 2021

10 March 2021: The Committee agreed to continue this petition and include it in its legacy paper for its successor Committee, along with a suggestion to seek an update from the Scottish Government on its response to the independent Deer Working Group, any progress that has been made to develop its new biodiversity strategy and further information on any legislation it intends to bring forward relevant to the issues raised by the petition. Link to Official Report of Meeting 10 March 2021 

PE1812/B: Help Trees Help Us submission of 14 September 2020 (97KB pdf)

PE1812/C: Woodland Trust in Scotland submission of 16 September 2020 (88KB pdf)

PE1812/D: Jonathon Porritt submission of 11 November 2020 (51KB pdf)

PE1812/E:  John Muir Trust submission of 19 November 2020 (87KB pdf)

PE1812/F: Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) submission of 20 November 2020 (152 KB pdf)

PE1812/G: Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) submission of 20 November 2020 (151KB pdf)

PE1812/H: Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) submission of 20 November 2020 (155KB pdf)

PE1812/I: Dr Alison Stewart, Woodland Under Threat Detector, Woodland Trust submission of 20 November 2020 (100KB pdf)

PE1812/J: Rachel McLean submission of 20 November 2020 (91KB pdf)

PE1812/K: John and Sharon Wellwood submission of 20 November 2020 (83KB pdf)

PE1812/L: Scottish Land and Estates submission of 27 November 2020 (106KB pdf)

PE1812/M: NatureScot submission of 27 November 2020 (65 KB pdf)

PE1812/N: Heads of Planning Scotland submission of 16 December 2020 (113KB pdf)

PE1812/O: Petitioner submission of 4 January 2021 (120KB pdf)

PE1812/P: Woodland Trust submission of 22 January 2021 (9KB pdf)

PE1812/Q: Scottish Government submission of 1 March 2021 (132KB pdf)

PE1812/R: Petitioner submission of 4 March 2021 (118KB pdf)

PE1812/S: Woodland Trust Submission of 9 March 2021(154KB pdf)


• Do you agree ancient woodlands are irreplaceable, national treasures that deserve the highest levels of legal protection in order that future generations are able to benefit from them?

• According to SNH’s website, Scotland has much less woodland than other European countries and less than half of Scotland’s woodlands are in good condition.  This is due to problems of poor management and neglect, over and under-grazing, invasive species and pathogens, fragmentation and climate change. Do our ancient and semi-native woodlands need our help?

• The Scottish Government is currently consulting on its National Planning Policy Framework 4. This Framework will guide planning policy in our country until 2050.  Should our remaining ancient and native woodlands be considered as priceless, irreplaceable assets and granted full legal protection?

• Our woodlands are threatened by new developments, over grazing, mountain bike trails, invasive species, pollution, climate change and others.  Do our ancient and native woodlands, which have helped to sustain, inspire and console us for centuries, deserve full legal protection now?

• The natural world and ‘green spaces’ are increasingly recognised as having positive impacts on our physical and mental health and wellbeing.  Is it acceptable that our most treasured ancient and native woodlands can be legally desecrated?

I would like to get more involved. I have a ten acre oak and hazel wood in south Perthshire and supporting its biodiversity

Helen Martin

12:26 on 05 Aug 2020

Everything we do against nature, we do to ourselves.

Darren Lewis

7:42 on 05 Aug 2020

Preserve ancient woodlands makes sense. Flooding is increased and wildlife disappears.

Roz Brooks

7:37 on 05 Aug 2020

Our native woodlands need our protection.

Rosalind Cheyne

7:32 on 05 Aug 2020

This kind of flooding is inevitable as climate emergency increases. Stop all the Sitka planting. It is not helping.

Debra Hall

6:33 on 05 Aug 2020

Must do now, we do not have a lot of time.

Graham Ross

4:44 on 05 Aug 2020

So important to protect areas such as these.

Darla Brewer

10:33 on 04 Aug 2020

We must preserve this woodland. Listen to the experts, the scientists, the people who know. Are we turning into the Congo where rare species are being destroyed and we are horrified by the effects. If not then why are we doing the same thing. This is so wrong.

Ellen Coughlann

7:35 on 04 Aug 2020

Think of the wildlife you destroy. Leave trees alone please.

Maria Heary

22:54 on 03 Aug 2020

We need to protect the ancient woodland we have left and get planting a whole lot more 'natural' woodland - not blanket coniferous forestry

Lindsay Smith

21:53 on 03 Aug 2020

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