Print page print this page

Decision Support Tools


Forest Research has developed a suite of online resources and tools to support forest management decisions.These are based on fundamental and applied research, and represent a powerful resource for evidence-based decision making that is highly attuned to the requirements of British forests and forestry practice.   


Registration and Access

To register for a username/password, send an email request to

Once registered, users can log in here


Further Information

Further information and access to the complete set of online and web-based forest planning and decision support tools is available from Forest Research here.





The tools listed below are especially useful for woodland establishment and planning. All the links open in a new window on the Forest Research website:


  • Tree Species Selection Electronic Decision Tool (incorporating ESC4)
    Since September 2015 this new species selection site has had over 20000 accesses. Some forestry consultancies have integrated the maps directly into their GIS systems over the internet to use in their internal planning processes. The usage levels of Ecological Site Classification (ESC, version 4) has increased dramatically since its inclusion in grant scheme applications. ESC4 includes revised soil nutrient regime data (which is not available in ESC3). 

  • Ecological Site Classification (ESC3 and ESC4) 
    Guidance on selecting suitable species for forest sites, based on the Ecological Site Classification method. ESC3 incorporates future climate change projections. Please note that the revised soil nutrient regime data is not incorporated into ESC3. 

    The RFS has developed a plant I.D. guide for use with ESC3 and ESC4 that can be found here.

  • ForestGALES  
    Decision support tool enabling forest managers to estimate the probability of wind damage to any conifer stand in Britain.

  • Herbicide Advisor 
    Expert system advise on the relative efficacy of different herbicides for scenarios with a mix of weed and crop species, at varying times of the year.