Why you need a woodland management plan

Recent Forestry Commission figures suggest that as much as 80% of privately owned woodland is unmanaged.  Lack of woodland management is one of the main threats to woodland today, leading to declines in both the woodland biodiversity and timber quality. The first step in woodland restoration is to develop a woodland management plan which brings together all existing information on the woodland and sets a clear vision and objectives for the wood.  The objectives may be varied, for example, any or all of wildlife conservation, sustainable woodfuel production, timber production, restoration of conifer to broadleaf, running a pheasant shoot, managing the wood economically, resilience against threats such as climate change or tree disease, offering access to the local community and so on.  The plan then sets out a viable strategy for meeting the woodland objectives.

Petra Billings is experienced at working with woodland owners to develop woodland management plans which both meet their needs and meet the UK Forestry Standard to gain Forestry Commission approval.  She has written more than 100 Forestry Commission-approved plans for woodlands in Sussex and Surrey, ranging in size from 2 hectares to more than 200 hectares.  Petra's plans include a series of maps showing your woodland location, features, designations, woodland types and proposed management as well as a photographic appendix showing the current state of your woodland.

An approved woodland management plan is a prerequisite for eligibility for any further woodland grants through the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. It also has the benefit of automatic 10 year felling licence approval for all works proposed in the plan. Most if not all of the costs of producing the plan can be met through a planning grant, offered through Countryside Stewardship subject to eligibility.  Application for a planning grant, if required, is offered as part of the service. To find out more, contact Petra.

"Thank you for coming to see us and for once again taking the time to give us such valuable advice about our precious patch of ancient woodland and how best to manage it for wildlife and biodiversity. It has been a real learning  experience for us to see the woodland through the eyes of a professional -  sometimes we mere land owners 'can't see the wood for the trees' and need an expert guiding hand.  Thank you so much for all the paper work you did to obtain the grant for us to be able to clear rides and create glades to let in daylight once again and to rejuvenate this lovely area. Thanks also for introducing us to professionally qualified and experienced woodsmen who have a real knowledge of the conservation practices necessary to ensure the survival of this Ancient Woodland and put your wonderful management plan into action." (Jo and Peter Lavender, Tanland Copse)