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Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018

Section 23 - Offence of unauthorised felling

39.Section 23 creates an offence, punishable upon summary conviction by a fine of up to level 5 on the standard scale, of unauthorised felling. Where the offence is committed in respect of more than one tree the maximum fine is to be determined as if the person had been convicted of a separate offence in respect of each tree.

40.Section 23(1)(a) and (b) set out where the offence does not apply. Under section 23(1)(a) a person is exempt from the offence if the felling is carried out in accordance with regulations made by the Scottish Ministers under section 24. Regulations under section 24 may provide that the offence does not apply to particular categories of person, particular places or activities, particular circumstances and trees of particular descriptions. Section 76(2)(a) provides that regulations under section 24(1) are subject to affirmative procedure. Under section 23(1)(b), the felling of a tree is not an offence if the felling is carried out in accordance with a felling permission (section 27), a felling direction (section 34), a restocking direction (section 36), a registered notice to comply (section 38), a remedial notice (section 54) or a registered remedial notice (section 56).

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