Flooding is a major environmental hazard facing the UK and one that is expected to increase with climate change. Societal impacts and economic damages are likely to escalate, with major floods already costing multiple £billion. These concerns are driving a more sustainable approach to flood risk management involving greater working with natural processes to slow […]
Our climate is changing rapidly, with milder, wetter winters, warmer summers, longer growing seasons and more frequent extreme conditions, including drought periods and heavy rainfall events. The projected rate of climate change is unprecedented and therefore action is essential now to improve the resilience of forests and woodlands, and to protect the benefits that they […]
This guide will help forest managers and agents in Scotland decide the best future management option for afforested deep peat sites (defined here as soils with a peat layer of 50 cm or more). It explains the principles and assessment methods of the ‘Forestry on peatland habitats’ supplementary guidance that Forestry Commission Scotland published in […]
The proportion of open space in many forests and woodlands is increasing as forest management plans are implemented and forests are restructured. Landowners and forest managers are increasingly being encouraged to manage this ground for biodiversity objectives but in some situations the management of open ground may be more complex and challenging than the management […]
Forest management plans are the key reference documents for monitoring and assessing forests and forestry practice in Britain. They define and communicate forest and woodland management proposals, set out how sustainable forest management is to be achieved and describe the consequences of management activities over time. Forest management planning involves assembling and integrating a wide […]
Atmospheric pollution in the form of acid deposition has been dramatically reduced since international controls on emissions were introduced in the 1980s. However, acidification still affects acid-sensitive regions of the UK, damaging fisheries and causing adverse ecological changes in freshwaters. Forestry is known to influence the degree of acidification, principally due to the ability of […]
Wildfire events are predicted to increase in frequency in the UK due to increased land-use pressure and climate change. Wildfires can have a number of impacts on sustainable forest management and, in some extreme cases, may have devastating human and environmental consequences. Reducing the incidence and impact of wildfires in forests and woodlands through good […]
The restoration of plantations on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) to native woodland communities is a challenging objective that requires more management input than simply re-creating a stand of site native species. All sites differ, and optimising the choice of methods thorough site assessment is necessary before restoration starts. Where there is evidence of valuable remnants […]
Deadwood is a vital component of a properly functioning forest ecosystem. It plays an important role in sustaining biodiversity and in delivering ecosystem services such as soil formation and nutrient cycling. In the UK up to a fifth of woodland species depend on dead or dying trees for all or part of their life cycle […]
Diversity in forests is essential to conserve biodiversity and expand habitats, and to contribute towards enhancing landscape quality and recreation opportunities. In addition, introducing species and age diversity throughout a forest can increase their resilience to pests, diseases and fire, and extend economic opportunities. This Practice Guide offers advice and ideas from which a forest […]
The guidance set out in this Practice Guide represents a step forward in our thinking about the benefits of the outdoors for health and well-being. It aims to inspire everyone involved with outdoor spaces in healthcare settings to think how they could be used for therapeutic purposes. Focusing on outdoor spaces across the NHS estate, […]
Since Medieval times, designed landscapes have evolved and at times changed dramatically in style and character. Throughout all periods and recognised styles however, trees have been an essential feature. In the 20th century social and economic changes proved challenging times for land management, with a combination of estate fragmentation, decline and changed land-use policies, specifically […]
Managing ancient and native woodland in England has been produced by Forestry Commission England as an aid to forestry and woodland managers working with ancient and native woodland. It brings together current good management practice to ensure these important woodlands are sustained for the future. Our ancient and native woodlands are one of our oldest […]
Identifying the historic environment in Scotland’s forests and woodlands has been prepared by Forestry Commission Scotland and Archaeology Scotland as an aid to forestry and woodland managers when considering the historic environment in their stewardship. The principal purpose of this practice guide is to provide an accessible introduction to exploring ‘archaeology in the field’. Archaeological […]
This Practice Guide introduces the principles and practical methods for collecting, storing and propagating from seed a wide range of woody species commonly grown in the British Isles. It is aimed partly at anyone interested in raising a relatively small number of plants, and partly at commercial growers – as a useful reference but without […]
Invasive rhododendron presents a unique problem to the managers of any habitats it colonises. If left untreated, this aggressive weed can rapidly occupy the entire understorey of a range of woodland types, open spaces within woodlands and heathland habitats. This Practice Guide provides guidance on managing and controlling rhododendron in invaded habitats, including information on […]
This Practice Guide contains detailed recommendations for the establishment of new broadleaved woodlands by direct seeding, a silvicultural system whereby tree seed is sown by hand or machine into a prepared seedbed at a site intended for woodland creation.
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