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Woodland Management


Getting started in woodland management can be an exciting but also daunting prospect. Becoming an active member of RFS will help connect you with many kindred spirits interested in the wise management of woodlands. There is a tremendous wealth of experience and insight to be shared at RFS Divisional Meetings and Conferences. However, there are also some useful and up-to-date sources of published information. Here we list several books that provide practical guidance: 


So, you own a woodland?
2015 edition
by Forestry Commission

This publication is available to download from the RFS website



3rd Edition
by Forestry Commission

108 pp., Forestry Commission, Edinburgh, 2011


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

Publisher's Description: 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.


Publisher's information: Forestry Commission
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2nd Edition 

by Chris Starr

192 pp., The Crowood Press, 2013

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

Publisher's Description: 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.


Publisher's information: The Crowood Press 
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by Julian Evans and Will Rolls

168 pp., Permanent Publications, 2015

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

Publisher's Description: 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


Publisher's information: Permanent Publications 
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Copies of this publication are available from the RFS Shop


2nd Edition

by Peter Savill

288 pp., CABI, 2013 (Hardback Edition); 2016 (Paperback Edition)

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

Publisher's Description: 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.


Publisher's information: CABI 
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by the National Tree Safety Group

103 pp., Forestry Commission, Edinburgh, 2011


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

Publisher's Description: 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. 


Publisher's information: Forestry Commission
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by Gary Kerr and Jens Haufe

Version 1.0, Silvicultural Guide, Forestry Commission, Edinburgh, 2016


Successful Underplanting (2016),
by Gary Kerr and Jens Haufe (Forestry Commission)

Publisher's Description: The aim of this Guide is to provide you, the forest manager, with guidance on how to carry out underplanting. Underplanting is the planting of young trees under an existing canopy, either as part of a process of regenerating the existing stand or to introduce an understorey to enrich and diversify the forest structure. Planting trees into the sheltered environment of an existing forest can confer silvicultural advantages, particularly against unseasonal frosts and heavy rainfall; however, there are also risks, such as failure to prepare the stand and consider future operations. Underplanting is very different to restocking, which is familiar to most forest managers in Britain, and the aim of this Guide is to give you clear information on how to achieve successful underplanting.


Publisher's information: Forestry Commission
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