Breakdown of felling licences: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Information requested

1. Number of felling licences waiting approval for more than 2 months from date of application.

2. Average length of time to approve felling licence over the last 6 months of 2021.


As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

1. There are currently 80 applications in 2021 that have been waiting more than 2 months for approval. The total number of active applications submitted, not yet approved as of 14th July, in Scotland is 276. To note that the term felling licence is no longer used, as the approval to fell trees now comes under a Felling Permission, more information can be found here.

2. The average processing time in the last 6 months for Felling Permissions is 58 days.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top