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Woodland Management

Getting started in woodland management can be an exciting but also daunting prospect. Becoming a member of RFS will connect you with many experienced people through RFS Divisional Meetings and Conferences.

Here are our recommendations for books that provide practical guidance on woodland management.


So You Own A Woodland Cover

So, you own a woodland?

2020 edition

by Forestry Commission 









UK Forestry Standard
UK Forestry Standard (3rd Edition) (2011), by Forestry Commission


3rd Edition, Forestry Commission (2011) 

The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) is the reference standard for sustainable forest management in the UK. The UKFS, supported by its series of Guidelines, outlines the context for forestry in the UK, sets out the approach of the UK governments to sustainable forest management, defines standards and requirements, and provides a basis for regulation and monitoring.


The UKFS Guidelines series covers the following subject areas:

  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change
  • Historic environment
  • Landscape
  • People
  • Soil
  • Water

General Forestry Practice is covered by the UKFS itself as it is common to all elements of sustainable forest management.



2nd Edition, Chris Starr (2013)

Woodland Management 2nd Ed Starr 2013
Woodland management: a practical guide (2nd Edition)(2013), by Chris Starr 

Now in full colour, this is the second edition of this highly acclaimed book. Woodland Management is essential reading for anyone with an interest in trees and woodlands, whether they simply enjoy walking in the woods, are considering buying woodland, or wish to gain a greater understanding of the history and management of Britain's woodland. The book begins with a look at how our woodlands have developed and a discussion of the different types of woodland, and then explores, in a non-technical way, all aspects of management.

It considers: broadleaf and conifer woodlands; factors influencing the choice of tree species; surveying and mapping; the seasonal cycle and the operations that occur at different times of the year; conservation and biodiversity; planting new woodland; natural regeneration; coppicing; the types of site; ground preparation; protecting ancient trees; growing trees for timber; thinning and felling; methods of selling timber; generating revenue from timber production and other sources; the factors involved in buying and owning woodlands; where to find grants; how to write a management plan; who to contact for further information; and much more.





Julian Evans and Will Rolls, 2015


Getting Started In Your Own Wood Evans And Rolls
Getting started in your own wood (2015), by Julian Evans and Will Rolls 

Owning a small wood or being able to help look after one well has become an increasingly popular subject.

Getting Started in Your Own Wood has all you need to know about the basics. It is written by experts committed to the care and stewardship of our woodland resources and provides practical advice and guidance for those coming to woodland management for the first time.

Getting Started in Your Own Wood is an expanded and updated edition of Julian’s hugely successful Badgers, Beeches and Blisters, first published in 2006 and reprinted four times. Every chapter has been revised, and two new chapters added by Will Rolls, author of The Log Book, on firewood and tree pests and diseases.

This new, much enlarged edition for 2015 is greatly welcomed. Includes:

  • Owning or caring for a wood
  • First steps
  • When you may need permission
  • Planting and caring for trees
  • Natural regeneration
  • Cleaning, pruning, thinning and felling
  • Coppicing and pollarding
  • Woodland crafts and products
  • Firewood and wood to burn
  • Enriching the wood for wildlife
  • Keeping your wood safe from pests and diseases

 Copies of this publication are available from the RFS Shop


3rd Edition, Peter Savill

The Silviculture of Trees Used In British Forestry 2nd Ed 2013
The silviculture of trees used in British forestry (2nd Edition)(2013), by Peter Savill

Fully updated throughout, this new edition describes the silvicultural characteristics of trees commonly grown in the UK, including all important native species and a selection of some of the most significant exotics. With details of climatic zones, soils, productivity, pests and diseases, this book provides concise but detailed information regarding the establishment and management of forests. Detailed drawings of leaves and fruits are also provided to aid with identification, making this a useful resource for students and forestry professionals.











National Tree Safety Group, Forestry Commission, 2011


Common Sense Risk Management of Trees (2011), by National Tree Safety Group (Forestry Commission)

The National Tree Safety Group’s (NTSG) aim is to develop a nationally recognised approach to tree safety management and to provide guidance that is proportionate to the actual risks from trees.

The NTSG position is underpinned by a set of five key principles for considering and managing tree safety in the public interest:

  • Trees provide a wide variety of benefits to society
  • Trees are living organisms that naturally lose branches or fall
  • The overall risk to human safety is extremely low
  • Tree owners have a legal duty of care
  • Tree owners should take a balanced and proportionate approach to tree safety management.

Managing the risk from trees is the responsibility of the owners and managers of the land on which they grow. There are many different types of landowner and trees grow in many different environments. This guidance has been developed to support the work of all those involved in tree management; whether connected with streets, parks, public open spaces, businesses such as hotels or farms, private estates, woodland, commercial forestry or private gardens.