The Forestry (Exemptions) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021

Jurisdiction: Scotland

Commencement: 10th November 2021


  • The Forestry (Exemptions) (Scotland) Regulations 2019

Mini Summary

The Forestry (Exemptions) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 introduces exemptions, under the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018, from the requirement to gain permission from Scottish Forestry to fell trees. Therefore the offence of unauthorised felling will not apply in these circumstances.


The following exemptions are available:

  • Felling of trees with a diameter of 10cm or less.
  • Felling in an:
    • orchard;
    • garden;
    • churchyard;
    • burial ground; or
    • public open space (such as a park or sports pitch with a canopy cover of 20% or more, in an area of 0.1ha or larger).
  • Felling of 5m3 or less of trees per quarter (starting on the 1st of January April, July or September), except in small native woodland (areas of 0.1-0.5ha with a woodland canopy which contain over 50% native species of trees) or Caledonian pinewoods.
  • Felling to prevent immediate danger to people or property.
  • Felling immediately required by a development with planning permission.
  • Felling of trees obstructing an aerodrome or landing installation.
  • Felling by, or on, behalf of electricity operators of a tree which is close to an electric line or electrical plant being installed.
  • Felling by, or on, behalf of Scottish Water where it is interfering with their functions
  • Felling by, or on, behalf of local authorities for flood management.
  • Felling by, or on, behalf of statutory undertakers involved in transport, which would obstruct any works or maintenance.
  • Felling of trees infected with Dutch Elm disease.
  • Felling authorised by the Forestry Commissioners or Scottish Forestry under a forestry dedication agreement as part of the revoked Forestry Act 1967.
  • Felling of dead trees.
  • Felling required by an enactment (passing of legislation).
  • Felling of a tree with a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) consent.

These exemptions are for felling on, or on behalf of, the land owner unless otherwise stated.


Minor technical changes are made to the definition of ‘statutory undertaker’ to fix a typographical error.

Regulation 6 is inserted which introduces a requirement to gain permission before any trees that are part of a peatland restoration project are felled.

Link to full government text


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