The Forestry Commission is both a Government Department and a statutory body with a board of Commissioners. The board consists of a Chair and up to 10 other Forestry Commissioners, who are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of Ministers.
The board meets four times per year. The Commissioners themselves have a number of specific statutory duties and powers, summarised in the Forestry Act as 'promoting the interests of forestry, the development of afforestation and the production and supply of timber and other forest products'. In practice, these mainly relate to incentives and regulation, controls on felling, plant health and managing the public forest estate.
The Commissioners have a legal duty to seek a reasonable balance between the production and supply of timber and the interests of conservation. In promoting the multiple benefits of forestry, they also seek to take careful account of the needs and wishes of people throughout Scotland and England, including local communities.
As forestry is a devolved matter, the Commissioners report separately to Westminster and Scottish Ministers for their activities in England and Scotland respectively.