Illegal tree felling in England to be punishable with jail and uncapped fines

By Mark Tovey
The Guardian
December 23, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Illegal tree felling in England will be punishable by unlimited fines and prison sentences from 1 January, the government has announced. The current fine for cutting down a tree without a licence, established by the Forestry Act 1967, is £2,500 or twice the value of the timber, whichever is the higher. But the development value of the land, as opposed to the price of timber, has been the main driver of illegal felling in recent years. To deter property barons from illegally flattening trees and accepting the paltry penalties as a cost of doing business, the Forestry Act 1967 will be amended to allow uncapped fines. …“These new powers will hit people where it hurts – in their wallets,” said the Forestry Commission’s chief executive, Richard Stanford. “ …Abi Bunker, at the Woodland Trust, said: “This should strengthen protection for trees in England.”

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