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UK Forestry Standard

The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) is the reference standard for sustainable forest management in the UK. It outlines the context for forestry, sets out the approach of the UK governments to sustainable forest management, defines standards and requirements, and provides a basis for regulation and monitoring – including national and international reporting. Guidelines on how to meet the UKFS requirements are set out in sub-sections covering Biodiversity, Climate Change, Historic Environment, Landscape, People, Soil and Water.

Cover of the UK Forestry Standard

Download (ePub 22MB) (PDF 31MB)

The UKFS applies to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It applies to all woodland, irrespective of who owns or manages it. The Standard ensures that international agreements and conventions on areas such as sustainable forest management, climate change, biodiversity and the protection of water resources are robustly applied here in the UK.

The Forestry Commission in England, Scottish Forestry, Natural Resources Wales and the Northern Ireland Forest Service are the main bodies responsible for implementing the UKFS. These bodies will assess forestry proposals against the Standard before giving approval and carry out checks to ensure it is being complied with. The precise arrangements for implementing and monitoring the Standard will vary between the four countries.

Further reading and useful sources of information are available via the links from this page to the subject specific pages for each element of sustainable forest management.

A summary of the UKFS, including a checklist of the Requirements and Guidelines for General Forestry Practice and each of the sub-sections covering Biodiversity, Climate Change, Historic Environment, Landscape, People, Soil and Water, is also available to download in ePub format.

Download the UKFS summary (in ePub format only).

Work has begun on reviewing the current UKFS. A review takes place every five years and the aim is to update and publish the next version by the end of 2022. More details can be found here.

By agreement with the UK forestry authorities, all UKFS documents and supporting guidance are kept together in the Forest Research catalogue.

Supporting guidance can be found in the following UKFS series and subject specific searches:

Practice Guides

Practice Notes

Technical Guides

Technical Notes

Publications related to:

Forests and biodiversity

Forests and climate change

Forests and the historic environment

Forests and landscape

Forests and people

Forests and soil

Forests and water

To find out more, please visit our publications home page.

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