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Managing our woodlands

Good management calls for a multipurpose approach that can make the most of Scotland’s woodland – for owners and the public.

To work out how best to manage a forest or woodland, the owner or manager must first decide what it’s to be used for.

Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland believe in multipurpose forest and woodland for Scotland. Our small country hasn’t enough space for woodland that’s managed for only one purpose. Instead, woodlands are managed with specific priorities in mind, but with due consideration also given to a wider range of objectives.

The UK Forestry Standard states that multipurpose management must consider:

  • timber production
  • biodiversity
  • landscape
  • public access, safety and recreation
  • water quality and flooding risk
  • carbon management – both in the soil and in standing timber
  • cultural values – including archaeology, history and community interest

Forest Plans

A management plan should be drawn up to describe and map the nature of the forest, and what must be done to meet its full potential.

View and download Forestry Commission Scotland guidance on Strategic Forest Plans.

As forest and woodland management can benefit the public as well as the owner, the government supports multipurpose management with funding.

Find out about the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP), which offers grants.

Or go straight to details of the SRDP Forestry Grant Scheme.