The CBA has written to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to raise our concerns over the impact that the Government's proposed bio-diversity offsetting scheme may have on the important archaeology of Ancient Woodlands across the country.
Ancient woodlands are not only important ecological habitats, but are also significant historic landscapes containing a wide range of irreplaceable archaeological features, including worked and veteran trees.
These historic landscapes have the potential to provide a unique insight into land use and land management practices, and in the development of local industries, over hundreds (and in some cases thousands) of years. In the past woodlands have been actively managed to produce essential raw materials for agriculture, construction and for local craft and manufacturing industries. The traces of these uses are often still present and represent a unique part of our country’s archaeological heritage, which cannot merely be ‘replaced’ by re-planting.
The CBA is therefore supporting the Woodland Trust’s campaign to exclude ancient woodland from biodiversity off-setting schemes. We are also calling for an open and constructive discussion of the different options for ensuring a more in-depth understanding of the potential archaeological significance of historic and ancient woodlands within the planning process, and for more meaningful engagement with local communities in decisions over planning decisions that impact on historic woodlands in their areas.
You can help to support the campaign by writing to your local MP and asking them what they are doing on this issue (for more advice on how to do this see the Speak Up section of our website).