Management planning and site assessment of upland native woodlands

Management planning

Management plans are no longer the preserve of nature reserves or estates. They are becoming a standard tool of woodland management and increasingly form the mechanism for securing grant aid.

A framework for management planning is under development to simplify the process of writing the plan, following plan actions and revising management in response to monitoring. The format aims to ensure that management objectives and desirable woodland conditions are achieved.

This framework will be included in the forthcoming handbook:  "Management of native broadleaved woodlands".

Environmental monitoring

Managers often undertake monitoring to comply with certification or as a condition of grant aid. However, unless careful thought is given to the purpose of monitoring, data may be collected in an inappropriate way and it may be difficult to determine the meaning of results.

Guidance is in preparation to provide a rationale for monitoring  and to identify the difference between strategic / research monitoring and that needed at the site level to inform management decisions. The focus of current work is on planted ancient woodland sites (PAWS) vegetation monitoring.

An obvious browseline in a woodland used to shelter cattle in the winterAssessment of over-grazing in English upland native woodlands

This project was carried out under this ecology of upland native woodlands programme and is covered under the Impacts of large herbivores on woodlands programme pages. It illustrates a quick and simple qualitative approach to woodland assessment.

A judgement – based method to identify overgrazing in English upland native woodlands (PDF-1145K)