The Woodland Trust said 630 ancient woods had been threatened by development such as quarries and roads in the past decade, with 111 sites lost in 10 years due to weaknesses in planning policy, and 225 were still under threat.
New maps from the trust show dozens of woodlands dating back more than 400 years at risk around London, with others threatened from Cornwall to the north of England.
The final version of a major overhaul of the planning rules, which the Government insists is needed to boost economic growth but which has provoked fears among countryside campaigners of inappropriate development and urban sprawl, is expected shortly.
Before its publication, the Woodland Trust issued a last-ditch plea to ministers to close what they say is a ”loophole” in the proposed planning framework, which focuses on ”sustainable development”, to prevent more ancient woods being at risk.
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