Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Waste exemptions for forestry

Waste exemptions for forestry

You may need to register an exemption with your environmental regulator from waste management licensing if you carry out an exempt waste management activity.

Some exemptions do not need to be registered although you must comply with the exemption's conditions.

Activities exempt from waste management licensing

Exempt waste operations and exempt waste management activities which may be relevant to forestry businesses include:

Exempt waste activity or operation Exemption reference
Northern Ireland Scotland
Chipping, shredding, cutting or pulverising waste wood or bark. Paragraph 21
Must be registered.
Paragraph 21
Must be registered.
Burning untreated wood waste in the open. Paragraph 30
Must be registered.
Paragraph 30
Must be registered.
Burning some waste wood or bark as a fuel in a small appliance in certain cases. Paragraph 5
Must be registered.
Paragraph 5
Must be registered.
Composting untreated waste wood. Paragraph 13
Must be registered.
Paragraph 12
Must be registered.
Using untreated waste wood as mulch. Paragraph 9
Must be registered.
No exemption needed.
Using waste wood or bark to make products. Paragraph 15
Must be registered.
Paragraph 15
Must be registered.
Spreading waste wood for benefit on the site where it is produced. For example to suppress weeds or provide nutrients to the soil. Paragraph 9
Must be registered.
No exemption needed.
Storing any waste (non-hazardous or hazardous/special) temporarily on the site where it is produced in a secure place for no longer than 12 months. Paragraph 41
There are quantity limits for storing hazardous waste.
No need to register.
Paragraph 41
There are quantity limits for storing special waste.
No need to register.
Burning as a fuel, under a permit granted under the PPC regulations, of straw, poultry litter or wood (at less than 1 tonne per hour in Northern Ireland) (Applies to biomass boilers) Paragraph 5 Paragraph 3

 

You must check whether your registered exemption needs to be renewed. Some registered exemptions last for as long as the activity is carried out while others may only last for 12 months.

If you are not sure whether your waste operation or waste management activity is covered by an exemption, or how long an exemption will last, you should contact your environmental regulator for further advice.

Contact your environmental regulator

Further information on waste exemptions

NIEA: Activities exempt from waste management licensing

SEPA: Activities exempt from waste management licensing

Forestry Commission: Managing brash on conifer clearfell sites (Adobe PDF - 2.34MB)

Forestry Commission: Planning controlled burning operations on forestry (Adobe PDF - 1.47MB)

Forestry Commission: Burning forest residues (Adobe PDF - 1.15MB)

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