Julian Forbes-Laird

In this conversation, Sharon and Julian discuss the concept of biodiversity net gain and its unintended consequences, particularly in relation to the classification of veteran trees. They highlight the discrepancy between the definition of veteran trees in the National Planning Policy Framework and the definition in the Biodiversity Gain Requirements Regulations. Julian explains that the regulations' definition includes trees with common features such as significant decay, large girth, and high value for nature, which dilutes the exceptional value that should be associated with veteran trees. This creates confusion and potential conflicts in the classification and protection of trees. The conversation explores the challenges and implications of the new regulations regarding veteran trees in the UK. The speakers discuss the confusion around the identification of veteran trees and the different perspectives of arboriculturists and ecologists. They highlight the potential consequences of over-categorizing trees as veterans and the impact on land use planning and development. They also discuss the issue of root protection areas and the unintended consequences of excessive constraints. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the need for a balanced approach to tree preservation and the importance of considering future land use and biodiversity.

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