Planning and Management
The forestry management team work closely with clients to understand the aims and objectives they may have for their forest or woodland. Together we develop comprehensive management plans for each forest or woodland; these Plans are normally submitted to the Forestry Commission for approval, as an approved Plan provides both the authorisation for future harvesting and also the basis for potential grant applications.
Subjects covered by the forest management plan include the following:
- Short, medium and long term silvicultural development of the forest or woodland
- Selection of appropriate management regimes
- Tree planting, landscape design, and maintenance
- Woodland improvement schemes
- Harvesting, marketing and management of timber sales
- Installation and maintenance of roads, tracks and footpaths including public access routes
- Management of invasive species and pests
- Protection and enhancement of native biodiversity and habitat
- Non timber income opportunities
If the owner wishes to sell timber, certified as being ‘sustainably produced’, then a major annex to the Management Plan called a Certification Plan is also prepared. This is submitted to the Certifying Body (currently the Soil Association), which will audit the Plan against the United Kingdom Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS). If it is approved, then the timber from that forest or woodland will be able to bear the mark of the Forestry Stewardship Council® (FSC®). See separate section ‘Certification to UK Woodland Assurance Standard’.
Management of Estate Woodlands
Liaising regularly with owners and their agents, Fountains Forestry manages woodlands and forests located in landed estates from Cornwall, through England and up to the Highlands of Scotland.
The management of estate woodlands requires some special techniques and skills. These include:
- Tree surveys and risk management of public areas
- Arboricultural maintenance of specimen and landscape trees
- Landscape surveys
- Minimum intervention approach in prominent woodlands
- Thinning and harvesting of tree biomass for estate heating and power units
- Special information and interpretative signage