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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL1074, tabled on 14 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they differentiate between ancient and veteran trees; and if so, what is their definition of each type.

Answered on

28 June 2021

Ancient and veteran trees can be individual trees or groups of trees within wood pastures, historic parkland, hedgerows, orchards, parks, or other areas. They are often found outside ancient woodlands.

An ancient tree is considered an irreplaceable habitat. Attributes can include its great age, size, condition, biodiversity value as a result of significant wood decay and the habitat created from the ageing process, and cultural and heritage value. All ancient trees are veteran trees, but not all veteran trees are ancient. A veteran tree is also considered an irreplaceable habitat. It may not be very old, but it has decay features, such as branch death and hollowing. These features contribute to its biodiversity, cultural and heritage value.