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What is the RFS?

The Royal Forestry Society is the largest and longest established education charity promoting the wise management of woods in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Our mission is to inspire passion and excellence in woodland management. We do this through education and knowledge-sharing, which have been at the heart of the RFS ethos since its foundation in 1882.

Woods which produce sustainable timber, wood fuel and other products will be preserved.  This is better for nature conservation, better for public health, and better for the economy. But to achieve it, they need to be wisely managed.


Who can join?

Anyone with an interest in woods and trees is welcome to join the RFS. Whether you just enjoy being in woods and learning more about them, or you are a woodland owner, professional forester, ecologist or student, the RFS provides access to a community of like minded people, and to an unparallel source of knowledge and learning. If you are passionate about the health and well being of our our woodlands then you should definitely be a member of the RFS.


What are the membership benefits?

There are numerous benefits to being an RFS member. One of the most highly valued is the numerous woodland meetings we organise across the country. As a member you are entitled to attend as many as you like. These events are a rich source of learning as well as being enjoyable social gatherings. They are often held on private estates not normally accessible to the public. Other membership beneifts include our highly respected Quarterly Journal of Forestry which is full of information on all aspects of applied and practical woodland management, and our fortnightly E-news which is widely regarded as the most comprehensive digest of news and events. To see more membership benefits please go to our Join Us page.


What does the RFS do for UK woodlands?

Our vision is that all woodlands are actively managed and valued for their economic, environmental and social benefits. We are raising understanding of the value of woodlands among primary school age children through our Teaching Trees programme. We are also promoting careers in forestry through our Future Foresters programme so that we can ensure a supply of skilled workers to manage our woods into the future. These activities are funded by donations and legacies from our members, trusts and foundations.


Do I have to own a woodland to be a member?

No! Although many of our members either own or manage woodlands, others join the RFS just becasue they have an interest in woodlands. If you enjoy spending time in woodlands, want to learn more about them and care about their future, then RFS membership is likely to be valuable and relevant to you. 


I live in Devon but work in London, can I be linked with more than one division?

Yes! There are 20 RFS Divisions across England, Wales and Northern Ireleland. They are run by volunteers who organise woodland meetings and other events in the area. We will allocate you to a Division based on the address that you give us and you will recieve invitations to events from your local Division. However as a member you are entitled and welcome to attend meetings in any of the Divisions. If you are interested in events in another area then please let the memberhsip department know so that you can directly receive notices of any RFS events in other parts of the country.


I think my friend might be interested in membership, how can I help them?

Great! There are a number of things we can do if you think your friend might be interested in RFS membership. If you are already a member then you can bring them along to a woodland meeting as a guest so they get a feel for the RFS. If you/they are unable to attend a meeting then why not let us send them some information. If you provide us with their contact details our membership team will send them an information pack detailing all the benefits, explaining our work and showing some examples. 

Or why not gift them a year's membership? Give the membership department a call on 01295 678624 and we can discuss gift options with you.


I want to join but I cannot afford the subscription, what are my options?

The cheapest way to join is via Direct Debit and we have a very enticing first year rate. You can also sign up for a monthly direct debit, making our membership more affordable to many more people (only available for Individual or Joint Memberships). Please go to our Join Us page and select the monthly direct debit option. This will roll on a monthly basis, and we will only need to be in touch if the subscription cost changes. 


How can I get more involved?

You want to get more involved- great! There are many ways to get more involved in the work of the RFS, either locally within your Divison or with HQ events. To find out more please visit our volunteering page.


I am a student, how does my membership work?

We want to encourage full time students to join the RFS so that you can benefit from the learning we provide and the networks that can help you find the most suitable jobs in the woodland sector.  The student subscription charge is very low, very affordable and exceptionally good value. In addition, to support your future development, once you have finished your full time course we offer two years membership at 50% discount so membership remains affordable whilst you are starting out in your career. 


There is an old QJF article I want to reference for my work - can I use the article?

Yes. All our members have a personal log in to our members area on our website where they can search, access and download over 1,000 QJF articles dating back over the past 30 years. And if you know of a specific article that is older (we have the complete set dating back to 1907!) or isn't there then our team will be happy to find it and email it to you. Our members are also entitled to borrow books from our well stocked library. To see the list of publications click here.


How will the RFS use my personal date?

We are committed to protecting your privacy and security. Whenever you provide personal information, we will treat that information in accordance with our privacy policy, current UK Data Protection legislation and Internet best practice.


I have more questions, who do I contact? 

If you have any more questions that we haven't answered then please get in touch with our friendly membership team who will be happy to answer any queries. Call us on 01295 678 624 or email