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United Kingdom: Ancient woodlands under threat from new planning laws, campaigners warn

Woodland Trust says more than 100 woods have been lost in 10 years, and more could be threatened under reforms

Source:  Copyright 2012, Guardian
Date:  March 4, 2012
Original URL: Status ONLINE

More than 200 ancient woodlands are currently under threat from development, and many more could be at risk without changes to the proposed planning reforms, campaigners are warning.

The Woodland Trust said 630 ancient woods had been threatened by development such as quarries and roads in the past decade, with 111 sites lost in 10 years due to weaknesses in planning policy, and 225 still under threat.

New maps from the trust show dozens of woodlands dating back more than 400 years at risk around London, with others threatened from Cornwall to northern England.

The final version of a major overhaul of the planning rules, which the government insists is needed to boost economic growth but has also provoked fears among campaigners of inappropriate development and urban sprawl, is expected shortly.

Before its publication, the Woodland Trust issued a last-ditch plea to ministers to close what they say is a loophole in the proposed ...

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