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Out-of-print forestry publications made available on line

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Cover of Handbook 2

Out-of-print Forestry Commission technical publications are being brought back to life and made available again in an on-line archive.

Since its establishment almost 100 years ago, the Forestry Commission has produced a large number of informative publications on a wide range of forestry-related subjects, creating a substantial library over the decades.

Although many of the key texts have been revised over the years, with contemporary editions available in print and/or on line, most of the older titles are now out of print. However, as Roger Coppock, Head of Corporate and Forestry Support at the commission, explained:

“Much of this older material is still valuable and in demand by students, researchers and professionals across the forestry and related sectors at home and abroad, but apart from a few hard copies in libraries, it is inaccessible.

“So to meet this demand for access to our out-of-print publications in a cost-effective way, we have converted all our technical publications to digital formats, and filed them in an on-line archive available to all.”

Mr Coppock said the benefits of the archive would include:

  • supporting the aims of the Science and Innovation Strategy: some respondents to the recent consultation on the strategy highlighted the need for access to out-of-print publications;
  • making better use of a wealth of Forestry Commission information and knowledge by making it easily accessible; and
  • helping new information and products to be created: internal and external stakeholders could use these older assets to develop new products.

About 400 titles have been digitised, and will be uploaded in batches over the coming year. The first 11 titles uploaded are Handbooks, and these will be followed by Technical Papers, Journals of the Forestry Commission, Bulletins, Booklets, Field Books and Annual Reports.

The archived publications can be accessed free of charge at, by selecting ‘Archive’ from the Category menu.


  • The Forestry Commission was established by the United Kingdom Government in 1919. Its initial remit was to re-establish a strategic national reserve of timber: centuries of deforestation had left the UK dangerously short of home-grown timber with which to supply its needs in national emergencies such as the First World War. In support of this, and its subsequent remits to also provide nature conservation, public recreation, wider social benefits, and environmental services such as water and soil conservation, the commission and its Forest Research agency have conducted a great deal of scientific research and experimentation. This work has earned the commission international recognition as a world leader in sustainable, multi-purpose forest management. The results of the work have been published in a range of publications and made available to forestry practitioners to help them maximise success when establishing, managing and protecting forests. 

Media contact: Charlton Clark, 0300 067 5049