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Practice Guide
Ralph Harmer, Richard Thompson
The restoration of plantations on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) to native woodland communities is a challenging objective that requires more management input than simply re-creating a stand of site native species. All sites differ, and optimising the choice of methods thorough site assessment is necessary before restoration starts. Where there is evidence of valuable remnants of the former ancient semi-natural woodland within the stand, management should secure their future, and promote their development and subsequent contribution to the future native woodland. This Guide provides a framework for selecting a method of stand management and advice on good practice that is appropriate for a particular site and related to the quality of the remnant features present.
A4 | 28 pages | colour
Stock code:FCPG021
Practice Guide
Forestry Commission (Scotland)
Since Medieval times, designed landscapes have evolved and at times changed dramatically in style and character. Throughout all periods and recognised styles however, trees have been an essential feature. In the 20th century social and economic changes proved challenging times for land management, with a combination of estate fragmentation, decline and changed land-use policies, specifically regarding new objectives for forest expansion and management. Now designed landscapes are appreciated for their contribution to local landscape character and the distinctiveness of many of Scotland’s landscapes.
Today the challenge is to protect, restore and rejuvenate the remaining legacy, whilst ensuring arboricultural and silvicultural practices can deal with the changes anticipated from climate change. This guidance is an essential contributor in helping ensure designed landscapes can meet those challenges.
A4 | 60 pages | colour
Stock code:FCPG102

Best Practice Guidance for Land Regeneration

Forest Research
Best Practice Guidance for Land Regeneration is a series of Guidance Notes based on research and practical experience in the restoration of brownfield land for woodland and urban greening. The Notes are aimed at practitioners and all those responsible for restoring land back to other end uses, particularly those involving trees and woodland.

The Notes can also be downloaded as PDF files.

Wallet containing Best Practice Guidance Notes
Stock code:FRMS002

A new dawn for native woodland restoration on the Forestry Commission Estate in Scotland

George F Peterken, Alan W Stevenson
This publication reviews the progress made with Forest Enterprise Scotland's programme of native woodland maintenance, improvement, restoration and expansion, started in 1991, and considers where the process of native woodland restoration goes from here.
A4 | 60 pages | colour
Stock code:FCMS109
Research Report
Jonathan W Humphrey
Proceedings of a conference held at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, 14-15 September 2000.
This publication comprises the proceedings of the conference. Its principle aim was to bring together researchers, practitioners and policymakers to allow a full and free exchange of views, information and ideas on the theme of native woodland restoration at the landscape scale. This includes creating new native woodland, restoring planted ancient woodland, and expanding existing native woodlands.
A4 | 158 pages | black & white + colour sections
Stock code:FCRP001
Practice Guide
Richard N Thompson
The purpose of this Practice Guide is to give best practice advice to owners and managers on the restoration of native woodland on ancient woodland sites which have been planted with non-native species. The emphasis of the Guide is on the potential contribution of restoration to biodiversity and the practical considerations for successful development of native woodland.
A pull-out Site Assessment Guide (PDF) is included which has been designed to assist users in rating the restoration potential of any site and rank the relative priority of a number of sites.
A4 | 52 pages | full colour
Stock code:FCPG014
Research Note
Matt Parratt, Richard Jinks
Direct seeding can be a useful method for creating new woodland on former agricultural sites. However, the success of the technique is variable when it is used to restore conifer plantation sites to native species. Seed predation by small mammals, particularly the wood mouse, has been identified as a factor potentially limiting success. Small mammals are known to exhibit preferential predation when presented with a range of tree and shrub seeds. This research demonstrated that, when seeds used in the direct seeding of woodlands were presented on the soil surface, small mammals showed a preference for large-seeded species such as oak, hazel, beech and sycamore. In the case of oak, the removal of seeds by predators was rapid and total, usually in less than 24 hours. Smaller-seeded species and those with greater physical protection were significantly less likely to be taken. The results showed that the pattern of preference remained consistent between several different sites. The burial of seeds is known to reduce predation by reducing the chance of seeds being detected and increasing the time required for predators to find and remove them. In our experiments, burial restricted predation to just the highly-preferred species while less-preferred species were left almost untouched. However, burial also significantly reduced predation risk overall.
A4 leaflet | 4 pages | colour | online only
Stock code:FCRN013
Research Note
Ralph Harmer
During the 20th century large areas of ancient semi-natural woodland were converted to conifer plantations, creating sites now termed PAWS (Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites). Restoration of these sites to native woodland is a current objective of forestry policy throughout Great Britain. Natural regeneration is often regarded as the preferred method for restocking PAWS but it is a generally unpredictable process and some native species are very difficult to regenerate. A survey of western hemlock PAWS, carried out to identify which species were regenerating and how much of each was present, found a wide range of species either as seedlings or saplings, but at many sites the regeneration was predominantly birch. There were significant relationships between some site characteristics and the occurrence of regeneration, with the presence of nearby parents being especially important. Although there were often large numbers of seedlings present, most were small and patchily distributed, and the proportion of each site stocked with natural regeneration was low. A simple method for determining the proportion of a site stocked is described. While timber species such as oak and beech were regenerating, both seedling numbers and the areas of each site stocked were low. This indicates that natural regeneration may be an inadequate method of restocking and that planting may be required if an objective of management is to produce a good final crop of timber.
A4 | 8 pages | colour | online only
Stock code:FCRN011
UKFS Guideline Note
Forestry Commission (Scotland)
This guidance note provides an introduction to the restoration and management of ancient wood pastures in Scotland. It is aimed at land managers, their advisers and agency staff involved in land management and grant assessment. It has also been developed to help applicants to the Scottish Rural Development Programme
deliver the ‘Management of Ancient Wood Pasture’ Option.
PDF only
Stock code:FCFC154
Research Note
Russell Anderson
The value of peat bogs as open habitats and stores of carbon may be lost if they are planted with trees. The number of bogs being restored is increasing but still modest in scale relative to the area of afforested peatland. Research is currently being carried out to determine the feasibility and methodology for restoring afforested bogs. Two experiments were set up to compare a range of methods for managing trees and drainage. In the blanket bog experiment, treatments that involved both felling trees and damming plough furrows were more successful than others in terms of raising the water table. Bog vegetation recovered rapidly in the felled treatments, particularly those with furrows dammed. In the lowland raised bog experiment, the water table rose dramatically in all treatments. Only during a prolonged dry summer was there a difference between treatments, the water table falling deeper in the whole-tree removal than in the fell-to-waste treatment, with conventional harvesting intermediate. Bog vegetation recovered best in the whole-tree removal treatments and least well in the fell-to-waste treatments. Felling is necessary for restoring afforested bogs, but removing lop and top is not. Damming plough furrows can help to restore blanket bog but damming main drains may suffice on lowland raised bogs. Damming furrows is ineffective if the peat is severely cracked. Tree seedlings often colonise bogs undergoing restoration – removing brash mats after harvesting and periodic maintenance should reduce this problem.
A4 leaflet | 8 pages | colour
Stock code:FCRN006
Technical Paper
Russell Anderson
Afforestation affects bogs by triggering physical, chemical and biological changes within the environment. The primary purpose of bog restoration is to re-create wildlife habitat. This Technical Paper addresses the case for restoration, the basic principles that should be considered, the special case of cracked peat, and results from and practical experience gained in past restoration projects. Forestry Commission guidelines and the costs of restoration are indicated in appendices. This publication is still available in hardcopy.
A4 | 28 pages | black & white
Stock code:FCTP032
Technical Paper
Andy J. Moffat
Eight papers from a conference on restoring disturbed land to forestry, relevant because of the rapid increase in this type of land use in support of urban forestry initiatives. The papers represent a valuable set of opinions, and a basis from which further work in promoting woodland cover on restored disturbed land can be developed. This publication is still available in hardcopy.
A4 | 26 pages | black & white
Stock code:FCTP022
Andy Moffat, John McNeill
This Bulletin has been written to give up-to-date practical advice to people involved in the reclamation of disturbed land who wish to plant trees on the restored site. The Bulletin provides a comprehensive guide both to mineral companies, in preparing planning applications which involve proposals for forestry, and to mineral planning authorities, in considering such applications. It is also a comprehensive basis on which to plan the reclamation of derelict and other disturbed sites for tree planting. The Bulletin will facilitate the statutory consultations between mineral planning authorities and the Forestry Authority, and help people applying for support under the Forestry Commission Woodland Grant Scheme for tree planting on disturbed land.
190 x 250mm | 128 pages | colour photographs
Stock code:FCBU110
A.J. Grayson (Ed)
The storm which struck south-east England on the night of 15/16 October 1987 was the worst in the region since 1703: it caused more damage to woodlands and trees than any other recorded gale in Britain. Some 4 million cubic metres of timber were blown, equivalent to about 5 years’ cut in the seven worst affected counties. Broadleaved trees predominated and 72% of the damage occurred to privately owned woodlands and trees. The Forestry Commission set up a Forest Windblow Action Committee shortly after the storm for the purpose of assessing the damage, advising on the clearance and marketing of timber and recommending any action considered appropriate. A major concern was the potential degrade of logs left unharvested. Losses in value from this cause have not been as high as originally feared. Supplies of wood in other parts of the country were held back and many contractors moved teams into the affected region. Clearance of some 65% of the blown volume had been achieved by June 1989. However, some trees of lower value species or smaller sizes and in inaccessible sites are likely never to be cleared. Supplements to the Forestry Commission’s normal planting grants were made available for replanting blown woodlands. In addition, £9 millions were provided for restoration of non-woodland trees over 3 years. Useful lessons were learnt on the way to deal with such emergencies, including the value of a focal point for information and advice. In the south-east, it is clear that a wider range of tree ages in the growing stock would have reduced the scale of the catastrophe.
190 x 250mm | 64 pages | colour photographs
Stock code:FCBU087

The silviculture and management of coppice woodlands

Management handbook
Ralph Harmer
Coppice woodlands form an important part of our cultural heritage and are often valuable areas for conservation and biodiversity. The 20th century saw a marked decline in coppice but in recent years long neglected woodlands have been brought back into active management. This renewed interest has been mainly for wildlife benefits, but some well-managed crops, especially in-cycle coppice, can have commercial value. Although coppicing is a simple process the results achieved may be disappointing. This may be due to a variety of reasons such as the size and age of stool, management of overstorey trees and the damaging effects of browsing. The aim of this book is to give information and advice on the management of trees, stools and woodlands as coppice, which is necessary if coppice woodlands are to continue to produce marketable crops and the variety of conservation, amenity and landscape objectives in which managers are interested.
Book | 88 pages | full colour
Stock code:FCBK001
Information Note
Ralph Harmer
A4 leaflet | Full colour
Stock code:FCIN056
Occasional Paper
K.F. Broad
The purpose of this paper is to record for the wide range of sites the Forestry Commission has restored in Wales, the methods used and the successes and failures of the plantings, the objectives of which have varied from timber production to pure landscape planting. The Paper is intended as guidance to those who may wish to plant on comparable sites, and also to record the site factors, history, treatments and early growth while this information is still available from written records, and from the memories of the foresters involved, and by the survey of their condition during 1974-5.
210 x 295mm | 51 pages | black and white
Stock code:FCOP003
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