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 […]
Stem straightness is important in determining tree and log value. The ability to make an effective assessment before harvesting is useful for forest managers and practitioners to improve forecasting, planning, marketing and resource use. This Technical Note describes three methods for assessing stem straightness in standing trees: visual assessment, photogrammetric measurement and terrestrial lidar. It […]
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 […]
Conserving the genetic diversity within our tree species and the processes that determine it are important for sustainable forest management and increasing the resilience of Britain’s forests and woodlands. The genetic diversity within a tree species at any one time is the result of many dynamic processes, and it provides the source for future adapted […]
The regeneration of brownfield land to green space can deliver multiple benefits to society and the environment through improvements in the quality of a site and its surrounding landscape. Successful delivery of regeneration projects is dependent on the planning of project delivery and on good project management. This Practice Note describes the process of brownfield […]
Forests and woodlands bring wide-ranging and diverse benefits to people in Scotland. They are ideal places for people of all ages to participate in leisure, recreation and sports. However, forests are also workplaces. Forestry is an important part of the rural economy, and the production of timber provides revenue for landowners and jobs for the […]
Golden eagles are primarily birds of open mountain country but they can use open woodland habitats and may benefit from prey species which use woodlands. In 2010 a suite of six new Special Protection Areas (SPAs) covering 360,000 ha were designated by the Scottish Government for the conservation of golden eagles, adding to the existing […]
The oak processionary moth is a serious forestry pest that is capable of causing complete defoliation of oak trees. Its caterpillars are also a hazard to health. Breeding populations of the moth were discovered for the first time in the UK in London in 2006 and these initial infestations have since spread and the moth […]
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 […]
The management of forests and woodlands requires an effective road network to provide access for the machinery required to plant and harvest trees and extract timber and wood products. Roads are also used by visitors for access and activities such as cycling and mountain biking. Forest roads and bridges must be constructed so that they […]
Everyone involved in forestry work has health and safety duties and responsibilities. This Practice Note provides guidance to help landowners, forest managers and forestry practitioners manage public safety on harvesting sites. Forest operations are high-risk activities, and the management issues involved in harvesting and hauling timber while maintaining public access to forests and woodlands can […]
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