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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.   


The tools listed below are especially useful for woodland establishment and planning. 


  • 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). 
    The RFS has developed a plant I.D. guide for use with 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.


  • SilviFuture is a network established to promote and share knowledge about novel tree species across Britain. At its heart is a website hosting an online database that enables woodland owners and forestry professionals to add, search and share information of more than sixty tree species, many of which are less well known or tested in Britain. SilviFuture supports finding and sharing information on the silviculture of novel tree species. SilviFuture is collaboration between the Sylva Foundation, Forestry Commission England, Forest Research, the Silvanus Trust and the Royal Forestry Society.


  • myForest is a free online service for woodland owners, forestry businesses and wood users.

 Using myForest you can:

       Map your woods and save the maps to your computer

       Create an online inventory of the trees growing in your woods

       Complete a management plan for your woods which is compliant with Forestry Commission requirements.

        Search for forestry agents, consultants and contractors in your area.

        Access guidance on grants and regulations.