National policies have a presumption against clearance of semi-natural woodland for other land uses.
Natural England has issued Standing Advice on protecting ancient woodland from development, on the basis that ancient woodland is irreplaceable.
Thinning or clearance of woodland requires a felling licence from the Forestry Commission. This will stipulate the type and level of restocking.
Wet woodland is present in some of the Dearne Valley SSSI sites.
Wet Woodland in Local Wildlife Sites has a presumption against permission for change of use.
Individual or groups of trees may be protected by Tree Preservation Orders.
Felling and woodland 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.
Links for Information and Advice
Buglife: Managing wet woodland
Good management practice:
Wet woodlands are well-suited to a low-intervention approach. Positive conservation management in stages over time includes:
Conservation: Wet Woodland is well represented in Barnsley with many opportunities for its conservation.
Causes of loss or decline of Wet Woodland
Wet Woodland Conservation