The governments of the UK have today published their updated standard for sustainable forest management.
The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) – the reference standard for forest management in the UK – sets out requirements and details the conditions that must be met when felling trees, carrying out woodland operations, and receiving grants.
It applies to all woodland, irrespective of who owns or manages it.
The Standard ensures that international agreements and conventions on areas such as sustainable forest management, climate change, biodiversity and the protection of water resources are robustly applied across the UK.
This fourth edition, which now incorporates the previously separate supporting series of UKFS Guidelines, has been produced to:
- update relevant legislation and other regulatory requirements;
- update organisational details and mandates of the forestry authorities;
- reflect key policy changes arising from the increased devolution of forestry;
- incorporate recent developments in international agreements, and the way forestry activity is monitored and reported;
- incorporate recent advances in the scientific understanding of forestry;
- further strengthen the role of forest planning.
The new edition has been approved by Minsters in all four countries and its production has been overseen by the Forestry Commission in England and Scotland, Natural Resources Wales and the Northern Ireland Forest Service. Guidance and advice has been provided by an external Reference Group of forestry sector representatives.
No new regulations or burdens have been introduced by the revised Standard.