Conifer seed provides an important food resource for many woodland mammals, birds and insects, including some of Britain’s rarest species. This Research Note brings together information from a number of sources on cone and seed production by the main conifers planted in Britain. This information can help managers assess the seed resources of their woodlands […]
This Research Note presents the findings of a study which examined how biodiversity changes with stand age, with a view to incorporating it into optimal forest rotation length modelling. The study reviewed relevant literature and analysed Forestry Commission Biodiversity Assessment Project data. The review revealed no simple or universal response of biodiversity to stand age. […]
The ecosystem services concept helps describe the benefits which humans receive from nature and natural processes in a way that can influence policy and management decision making. The ability of trees, woodlands and forests to provide a wide range of ecosystem services is very much dependent on where they are located and how they are […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
The Native Woodland Survey of Scotland (NWSS), carried out between 2006 and 2013 has provided the first authoritative picture of Scotland’s native woodlands. It used field survey to identify the location, type, extent, composition and condition of all native and nearly native woods, as well as woods planted on ancient woodland sites (PAWS). This report […]
Ecosystem services refer to the benefits or outputs that people derive from ecosystems. Following the publication of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment there has been a growing interest in assessing the flows of such services and valuing the contribution they make to human well-being. This Research Report draws upon recent evidence (years 2001 to 2012) […]
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 […]
Direct seeding can be a useful method for creating new woodland on former agricultural sites. However, the success of the technique is variable when it is used to restore conifer plantation sites to native species. Seed predation by small mammals, particularly the wood mouse, has been identified as a factor potentially limiting success. Small mammals […]
Understanding the role of the landscape matrix in species dispersal is important when targeting conservation and management strategies. This Research Note shows how least-cost modelling was used to assess invasive grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis dispersal movements within the UK, with a focus on the county of Cumbria. Two major networks were identified separated by the […]
The Forestry Commission has produced guidance on biosecurity measures and good working practice for the forestry sector. This guidance is for anyone who works for, or carries out official duties on behalf of, the Forestry Commission. The booklet details practical steps designed to minimise the risk of introducing or spreading pests and diseases. It includes […]
Forests are popular places for recreation, but some activities can have negative impacts on wildlife. Land managers have to balance delivery of the social and economic benefits derived from outdoor recreation with nature conservation objectives. This literature review provides an overview of potential disturbance issues and a guide to the evidence on impacts from walking, […]
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 […]
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 […]
Maintaining species’ movement around landscapes is considered important if we are to conserve populations of many species and help them adapt to climate change. Particular features in the landscape have the potential to hinder or facilitate species movement. As each species interacts with the landscape differently, it can be hard to extract general patterns to […]
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