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Resilience Implementation Framework – complete guide

Steps 1 to 5

Facilitator’s Guide

Resilience Implementation Framework – worksheet template

Sources of information



Reading on resilience

Frequently asked questions

  1. How does this relate to UKFS?
    This document can provide a means of taking forward aspects of the guidance in the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS). It can support planning and management depending on the element of interest. The UKFS covers many elements including soil, biodiversity and climate change and these could be considered part of your system of focus or a disturbance.
  2. What if I don’t understand one of the steps?
    That isn’t uncommon, it can be difficult to understand on first read. Try reading the document all the way through and then apply the steps to a simpler system. It is always possible to go back over the steps with a different system once you have a developed a better understanding of how they work. Additionally, there are resources at the end of the document to support you.
  3. How can this guide help if I want change in my system?
    It is possible to change a system through the transformation pathway. Consider what the desired boundaries of change are during Step 3 and focus management actions which prompt creating a new (desired) system.
  4. What is the difference between a system and a state?
    The system is the focus of interconnecting items, for example a house or a woodland. Both are made up of individual components to form a whole. The state is the condition the system is in, for example a flooded house or one with intact flood defences; or an ancient woodland (with/without regeneration or other key characteristics).
  5. Why are some of the terms and definitions different from other resilience literature I’ve seen?
    Resilience is a topical concept and seems an attractive goal at a time of great uncertainty in the midst of both environmental and societal changes. However, it is also a complex concept with competing definitions, interpretations and understanding. These definitions vary between discipline and there is not necessarily one ‘correct’ interpretation. As such, it may be worth considering other approaches. However, it is important to be clear on how you are using the term, to avoid misinterpretation. There is a list of further reading which includes other approaches below.
  6. Why is there so much literature about resilience?
    Resilience is a concept focused on by many different disciplines from psychology to engineering, and has a long history particularly in the academic literature. The past 5 years has also seen a noticeable increase in general interest in resilience and how to apply it in different situations. Whilst definitions vary, this guide aims to direct the user through to understand how implementing resilience could work within their area of interest. The guide can be used beyond woodlands, trees and forests. There is further reading on resilience available at the end of this guide which may develop your understanding on the topic and provide insight to the different ways of thinking about resilience.
  7. What exactly does resilience mean?
    The definition varies between different disciplines. Within the context of this guide, resilience is defined as how a system responds to a disturbance or threat. This can be broken down into four components; resistance, recovery, adaption and transformation.
  8. Why doesn’t this guide give me a list of actions to implement?
    Simple, formulaic responses are unlikely to be helpful and may make things less resilient if misapplied or widely applied at the expense of diversity of actions. A fixed ‘menu’ of resilience actions is not appropriate because this cannot properly reflect the wide range of different objectives and local settings in which resilience planning can be applied. As each system is individual there is no one size fits all solution. However, the toolkits listed above may provide more specialised actions to consider.


Term Definition
Adaptation A modification which creates a new or different system which retains the original function.
Alternative state A different condition of the same system. For example, a degraded ancient oak woodland.
Recovery The ability to return to a normal or healthy condition.
Resilience Component Resilience can be broken down into four components: resistance, recovery, adaptation and transformation.
Resistance The ability to prevent or absorb impact thus reducing the effect on the system.
State The current condition or specifics of the system. For example, a young oak forest or ancient oak woodland.
System An interconnecting network or collection of entities. For example, a forest, a city park or a tree-related business.
Threshold An edge or point at which a small change in conditions results in a large change in the system. For example, if most trees in a forest have similar strength, then winds that slightly exceed a certain speed might result in widespread windthrow.
Transformation A marked change or alteration which creates a new system.
Tools & Resources
In this section
Tools & Resources