Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Post-15 BAP. Updated to 2023




Mixed Deciduous Woodland Conservation

Barnsley’s woodland cover at almost 10% is about the same as the national average, far less than in many European countries. Our semi-natural deciduous woodland is even less at 7%, 2260 ha, and much of this is not managed for biodiversity.

Causes of loss or decline of Deciduous Woodland habitat

Legal protection

National policies have a presumption against clearance of or development on semi-natural woodland.

The NPPF strengthens the protection of ‘irreplaceable’ ancient woodland. Standing Advice has been issued on protecting ancient woodland.

Thinning or clearance of woodland requires a felling licence from the Forestry Commission and this will stipulate type and level of restocking.  

Although there are no specific woodland SSSIs in Barnsley, woodland identified as LWS has a presumption against permission for change of use.

Individual or groups of trees may be protected by Tree Preservation Orders.

Felling and management where protected species are present may commit offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Protected species include all breeding birds and all species of bats. Licences may be needed from Natural England.

Good management practice

Note: The online Woodland Wildlife Toolkit (2019) gives information on different aspects of managing woodland for wildlife. It includes proformas for assessing woodland condition and for planning its management.

Mixed deciduous woodland with bracken in Rockley woods Silkstone Fall woodland

Deciduous Woodland Conservation

See Environmental Land Management and Countryside Stewardship Schemes


Planning affecting trees and woodland

Benefits of Woodland Creation

Woodland Wildlife Toolkit

My Forest management tools

Natural England:

Standing Advice on ancient woodland

Forest Commission:

Managing ancient and native woodland; Protected species regs

‘So you own a woodland

Woodland management plans

Woodland Trust: Improving woodland

Buglife: Managing oakwoods

Butterfly conservation: Management

Bat Conservation Bats and woodland

See also links on Woodland page.