Distribution of woodland in Barnsley
Ancient woodland dark green
Other woodland light green
Map: South Yorkshire Forest Partnership
Ancient woodland has had time to build up a varied and distinctive flora. Just over half of woodland in Barnsley is ancient woodland. These woods, often with old names such as Hugset, Bagger and Silkstone Fall, are irreplaceable.
Ancient woodlands are known to have existed from at least the beginning of the 17th century before which woodland planting did not take place.
Just over half of woodland in Barnsley is ancient semi-natural woodland (18%) and ancient woodland sites with replanting (36%).
Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW) is mainly made up of trees and shrubs native to the area, often arising from natural regeneration.
Planted on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS). These plantations retain ancient woodland features such as undisturbed soil, ground flora and fungi.
The presence of either of these types of ancient woodland site is a material consideration in planning applications.
How to identify ancient woodland sites
Old maps and records can determine whether a site contains ancient woodland.
A list of plants characteristic of ancient woodlands in South Yorkshire has been produced by Professor Melvyn Jones.
Natural England also maintains an inventory of ancient woodland.
Ancient woodland often contains historic features such as boundary ditches and mounds, bell pits and remnants of charcoal hearths.
National planning policies give special recognition to ancient woodland.
NPPF paragraph 118
Planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and the loss of aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland, unless the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss.
NPPF p117. ‘to minimise impacts on biodiversity.. planning policies should promote the preservation, restoration and re-creation of priority habitats, linked to national & local targets’
Natural England: Standing Advice on Ancient Woodland
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