Info for Tree and woodland Owners

There is much information available to help owners and managers look after their trees and woodlands. Exmoor National Park Authority can help with providing advice on managing trees and woodlands, explain the regulations involved with felling and maintaining trees and assist with applying for grant aid.

Please click on the links below to find out more (all links open in a new window).

Forestry Commission grants

Felling Licences

Felling Licences for Hedge Laying

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

Conservation Areas

Laws and Regulations relating to tree work

Useful links

Here are several links to some external forestry websites:

Forestry Commission - The government department responsible for the protection and expansion of Britain's forests and woodlands. Here you will find a wealth of information on all tree related subjects, woodland grants as well as downloadable publications.

Arboricultural Association - The Association delivers professional standards and guidance on arboricultural best practice. This website allows you to search for arboricultural contractors and consultants approved by the Arboricultural Association as well as download publications on tree care.

Natural England - The government department responsible for protecting and advising on the natural environment in England. Information on wildlife habitats, farming, land management grants, climate change and research.

ConFor - The Confederation of Forest Industries (UK) Ltd. Established to help build the market for timber products and forest services.

Small Woods Association - An organisation to help promote sustainable woodland management in the UK particularly for small woodland owners.

Trees and woodlands have always been subjected to pests and diseases and most of the time they can cope with mild infestations. However, in recent years there has been a number of more aggressive pests and diseases which have caused huge problems for woodland owners across the UK.  These include the larch disease,Phytophthora ramorum which has devastated the larch woodlands across south west England and ash dieback disease which does not yet have a strong hold in the south west.

There are considered to be two main reasons behind the greater number of pests and diseases finding their way to the UK. One aspect is down to the large global trade in plants and trees which has accidentally introduced pest and disease species from around the world. This has become a problem in other countries as well as the UK and there has consequently been a great deal of co-operation with international scientists to try and tackle these issues. The other reason is due to a changing climate being experienced in the UK such as milder winters which permits some exotic pests from tropical countries to survive through to the following year. Once the pests have established themselves in the UK, they often have a lack of natural predators which would otherwise keep them in check in their own countries.

The Forestry Commission also have an on-line reporting system for sending sightings of pests and diseases on trees called Tree Alert. The tree species which are of particular interest are ash, oak, pine, spruce and horse chestnut. To take part and record a sighting, view the Tree Alert pages here.

OPAL stands for OPen Air Laboratories and is an initiative by which everyone can find out not just about tree health, pests and diseases but also about nature in their area. There are surveys which people can take part in and details about projects going on across the country. There is more information on the OPAL website.

The pages below will provide some more background to several current tree pests and diseases relevant to Exmoor.

Phytophthora ramorum disease of larch

Ash Dieback Disease

Great Spruce Bark Beetle