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Forest Research

Forest Research is Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree related research and it provides evidence and scientific services to support sustainable forest management.

The Agency publishes a wide range of information in support of sustainable forest management in Britain. Its online catalogue ( includes the Forestry Commission publication library and archive as well as Forest Research articles and reports.

Established: 1919 (as the Forestry Commission)

Types of books published: Environment/science and forestry/land management

Forest Research highlights

The UK Forestry Standard

Practising sustainable forestry means managing our forests in a way that meets our needs at present but that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The UK Forestry Standard sets out the UK Governments requirements for sustainable forest management in the UK. Guidelines on how to meet the requirements are set out in sub-sections covering Biodiversity, Climate Change, Historic Environment, Landscape, People, Soil and Water.

The UK Forestry Standard is supported by a comprehensive suite of guidance publications, which are available on the Forest Research website. Available as an ePub.

The Forest Seedlings App

Forest Seedlings is a new digital field guide to identifying tree and shrub seedlings in the British Isles. The guide has been developed by experts working for the Forestry Commission in Great Britain and covers nearly 100 species commonly found in British forests and woodlands.

The guide contains stunning high-resolution images of leaves and other seedling features that can be used for identification. Species can be searched for and listed by their common and scientific names and dynamic filtering allows users to identify seedlings based upon a number of key characteristics.

The ‘Field notes’ tool provides an easy way to add notes and automatically record the locations of specimens using the device GPS, which does not require a mobile phone signal. Available as an App on the App Store and Google play.

Managing Native Broadleaved Woodland

Native woodlands occupy an important place in both our countryside and cultural heritage. They are managed to provide timber and other wood products but nowadays are often equally valued as habitats for wildlife and areas for recreation.

This comprehensive handbook provides advice that will help owners and managers understand and manage native broadleaved woodlands. A wide variety of subjects are covered, from identifying woodland communities and management planning, to silvicultural techniques, nature conservation and vegetation management – including the use of grazing animals. The background and principles of each topic are explained and case studies are used throughout. Available in hardcopy.

Design techniques for forest management planning

Forest management plans are the key reference documents for monitoring and assessing forests and forestry practice in Britain. They define and communicate forest and woodland management proposals, set out how sustainable forest management is to be achieved and describe the consequences of management activities over time. Forest management planning involves assembling and integrating a wide range of information about a site and its potential, and a number of established design techniques are available to assist with this process.

This Practice Guide provides step-by-step guidance to the techniques that can be used at each of the seven planning stages. The guidance applies to both the creation of new forests and woodlands and the management of existing forests and woodlands. Available in hardcopy and PDF.

Greenspace design for health and well-being

The guidance set out in this Practice Guide represents a step forward in our thinking about the benefits of the outdoors for health and well-being. It aims to inspire everyone involved with outdoor spaces in healthcare settings to think how they could be used for therapeutic purposes. Focusing on outdoor spaces across the NHS estate, the guidance is relevant to the full range of facilities, from the largest hospital to the smallest health centre. It also has a wider application wherever health and well-being is important, for example in places such as care homes and special schools.

The Guide has been designed to be accessible to a non-technical audience and will be of interest to those engaged with policy, and everyone interested in improving patient care. Available in hardcopy and PDF.

Sustainable construction timber

Timber is a versatile and high-performance construction material that can be produced in most parts of the UK. This second edition has been written to help building designers and contractors source and specify local timber products. The report explains why local sourcing of timber is important, reviews the range of timber species and products currently obtainable in the UK and explores the ways in which local sourcing can be achieved within a construction project.

Sustainable construction timber is applicable to designers and contractors wanting to source and specify UK grown timber products, people considering using their own timber on a construction project and those involved in building refurbishment or conservation. Available in hardcopy and PDF.