European network for vegetation management


The main aim of this Action is to try to gradually reduce dependence on herbicides in Europe’s forests by sharing best practice and encouraging collaboration across the European Union.

In the long term this can only be achieved through identifying alternatives that are based on sound forest management principles, recognising society’s need for the sustainable production of a wide variety of forest resources, and employing methods that are environmentally sound, socially acceptable, and economically viable.

A key benefit of the action is to establish a European forum for the management of forest vegetation, where co-operation of the main players in the forest industry in Europe together with the scientific institutions will give leadership and create networks in this research field to provide data and information for national forest services and the public.

Research objectives

  • To build networks of collaborating scientists across the EU, and also with external countries facing similar problems and with advanced knowledge in this field, such as Canada and New Zealand
  • To examine best practice and share current scientific advances across the European union and elsewhere 
  • To identify gaps in current knowledge requiring further research and barriers to adoption of best practice
  • To summarise best practice, scientific advances, work in progress, and gaps in knowledge / barriers on a country by country basis and publish them in a written publication, and possibly also on the web
  • To make proposals for future collaborative research between EU partners.

Funders and partners

EU flag
This programme is funded by the European Union - COST Action E47. There are 14 participating institutions from 13 countries.

Forest Research involvement

Ian Willoughby is:

  • Vice Chair Person of the Management Committee of this COST Action.
  • Lead editor for the book "A Review of Vegetation Management Practices In Europe"
  • A member of the Research Proposal Committee.

Joan Webber is a Management Committee member.

Ralph Harmer is a Working Group member.



The programme commenced in 2005.  Completion is scheduled for 2009.


Ian Willoughby

EU contacts

Chairman of the Management Committee: Dr. Nick McCarthy

Secretary of the COST Action: Günter Siegel