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Guidance and support

Forestry Commission staff have a series of 'Operational Guidance Booklets' (OGB) to guide and support them in sustainably and legally managing the public forest estate.  OGBs help the Forestry Commission deliver the objectives of the UK Forestry Standard and other country-based policies, and meet the certification requirements of the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS).

These booklets are available by request from the following links. This is to ensure that only the most recent and up to date booklets can be down loaded as they are frequently revised.

Adobe versions of OGBs are available on request  Please provide
your e-mail address, and tell us which OGB you would like.

The following paragraphs are brief summaries of some of these booklets that will help you manage sustainably in a changing climate.

Forest Design Plans

  • Provide a process for Forestry Commission staff to follow when producing forest design plans, when renewing them every 10 years and when implementing them to meet:
    • Forestry Commission policy
    • The United Kingdom Forestry Standard (UKFS)
    • The United Kingdom (UKFG) Forestry Guidelines and
    • The United Kingdom Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS)
  • Act as a gateway to current guidance on different aspects of forest design planning.
  • Provide an audit mechanism for monitoring implementation.


Managing Continuous Cover Forests

Continuous cover forestry (CCF) is an approach to forest management in which the forest canopy is maintained at one or more levels without clearfelling. This includes everything from a stand of regenerating Sitka spruce, where the canopy is removed quickly, to a mixture of shade tolerant conifers where trees vary in age. The aim of this booklet is to provide Forestry Commission staff with clear, practical advice about managing continuous cover forests.


This booklet relates primarily to ‘standard’ silvicultural thinning practice and it’s aim is to provide Forestry Commission staff with information on related policy and planning, couping and thinning practice and control.

Plant density: right first time

The aim of this guidance is to help Forestry Commission staff achieve the required standards for all planting and restocking work carried out. It also provides information on monitoring procedures.

Planning for the Unexpected

Contingency planning can be defined as planning for a future event or condition, or a tool to combat a chance occurrence. The aim of this booklet is to provide Forestry Commission staff with guidance and information on how to combat ‘crisis management’ through ‘contingency planning.’ The booklet will help staff:

  • develop a crisis management planning framework
  • develop strategies that can be used to pre-empt crisis management
  • compile 3rd party networking lists for each crisis categoryForest

 Certification and procurement of forest products

As a major forest owner and supplier of Certified timber, the Forestry Commission has an important role to play in the development of ‘Sustainable Forest Management’. The aim of this booklet is therefore to help Forestry Commission staff understand the background, policy and processes involved in forest certification, the use of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) logo and obtaining timber supplies from legal and sustainable sources.

Tree health

This booklet provides policy and guidance for Forestry Commission staff on Tree Health and its management in and around the forest. It also details the action to be taken to reduce the risk of poor tree health and the actions required to continuously monitor the health of the forest. It also:

  • details the national tree health Monitoring Programme;
  • explains the interface of the monitoring programme with Forestry Commission activities; and
  • provides guidance for the monitoring of tree health in the Forestry Commission.
Last updated: 31st January 2018
Planning and consultation meeting in car park

What's of interest

The web page listing OGB's available for download.