We have a range of resources available to help you understand more about the benefits and techniques of active woodland management.
- Economic benefits
- Using contractors
- Group felling
- Managing for timber and game
Our woodland experts can also help you manage your woodland, in your way. Our support ranges from showing you how to access various grants to helping you produce an effective UK Forestry Standard compliant woodland management plan. Contact your local Area office for more information.
Woodlands are a valuable resource which provide wildlife habitats and biodiversity, serve as a pleasant place to visit and offer protection from flooding. They can also provide shelter, protect soil, improve water quality and store carbon.
Most notably, the commercial benefits include income from timber sales, game shoots, tourism and estate capital value.
In most woodlands all but the smallest and simplest jobs require specialist contractors with the appropriate experience to carry out a job safely and with minimal damage. Some contractors specialise in harvesting, extraction, planting or forest maintenance. Others, often smaller contractors, will take on all aspects of woodland management.
Coppicing is a traditional woodland management technique that was practiced extensively until about 70 years ago.
Areas of woodlands, or ‘coupes’, are harvested on a rotation of up to 30 years. Most coppice woodlands are now classified as neglected or stored coppice, which means that they have not been cut for a number of rotations.
Woodland management will help you to take advantage of the natural products grown in your woodland (both timber and game). You can boost your income through sales of timber and woodfuel, commercial shoots, deer stalking and making the most of tax benefits for commercial forestry.
Group felling involves removing all the trees in a specified area to create a gap in the woodland. Depending on the purpose of the felling, this could be a small area of only a few dozen trees or a much larger area.
Thinning is an important tool in woodland management. It allows you to guide the species and form of trees that create a woodland, and will help to future-proof the landscape for generations. Essentially, thinning mimics the natural selection process that occurs of woodland is left untouched, where the number and density of trees would reduce as woodland matures.
Managing woodlands for game can boost additional income through game shoots and game meat. The same woodlands usually have a long history of timber management.
When an area of woodland has been felled there are three options for how to ‘restock’ it by replacing the trees. You need to decide which option best meets your commercial and biodiversity objectives.
Find out about practical biosecurity measures you and your contractors can assimilate into your day-to-day work.