Search Legislation

Forestry Act (Northern Ireland) 2010

Section 15 – Requirement of licence for felling

The felling restrictions have a threshold of 0.2 hectares because the Department’s Forest Service wishes to regulate forests and woodlands, rather than be a steward of individual trees, which are already covered by Tree Preservation Orders under Planning legislation. The threshold was also set because this area matches the minimum area for planting grants under existing Forest Service planting grant schemes.

There is a wide spectrum of exemptions from the requirement for a felling licence, ranging from trees in gardens, public parks, fruit trees, and small trees. An exemption at section 15(2)(e) (ii) is for “where the aggregate cubic content of the trees which are felled by that person without a licence does not exceed 5 cubic metres in any quarter”. To get a sense of what this means, 5 cubic metres equates to one large oak tree.

An offence is created for any person who fells trees where an exemption does not apply and where no licence has been obtained.

There is provision for the Department to serve a restocking notice where it appears that an offence has been committed (section 22 – Power of Department to require restocking after unauthorised felling).

Regulations under section 15 must be made by laying of a draft before and approval by resolution of the Assembly.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources