The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS), supported by its series of seven Guidelines, outlines the context for forestry in the UK. First published in 1998, a 4th edition was published on 5 July 2017.

The Standard sets out the approach of the UK governments to sustainable forest management, defines standards and requirements and provides the technical guidelines for regulation, monitoring and the provision of grant aid.

It provides the legal and General Forestry Practice requirements common to all elements of sustainable forest management.

You can download the UK Forestry Standard on the Forest Research website.

The scope of the UK Forestry Standard

The UKFS and associated Guidelines have been developed by the Forestry Commission in Great Britain and have been endorsed by the UK and country governments. They apply to all UK forests and woodlands.

Together with the Welsh Government’s Woodlands for Wales Strategy, the UKFS provides a framework for the delivery of international agreements on sustainable forest management, alongside country policies on implementation.

What is sustainable forestry?

Practising sustainable forestry means managing our forests in a way that meets our present needs but that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs. They will rightly expect that their forests and woodlands offer at least the same benefits and opportunities as we enjoy today.

At the heart of the UKFS approach is the importance of balancing the environmental, economic and social benefits that our forests can provide and the recognition that our forests serve a wide range of objectives.

The seven strands of sustainable forest management

The supporting Guidelines define sustainable forest management in the UK under seven subject areas:

  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change
  • Historic environment
  • Landscape
  • People
  • Soil
  • Water

The legal requirements and essentials of good forestry practice are set out and guidance is given on how to achieve them.

Further information

You can find out more about what sustainable forest management is by exploring the links. You can download copies of the UK Forestry Standard Guidelines and supporting best practice guidance from the Forest Research website.

Forestry Research publishes a wide range of information in support of sustainable forest management in Britain. Search the Forest Research catalogue.

How we can help

Find out about how we can help you to manage your forest or woodland to the UKFS and whether you may need to apply for any permits before you carry out any work by visiting our pages on forestry regulation and guidance for woodland managers.

Other forms of help

You may be able to get support for sustainable forest management activities so visit our funding pages and the Welsh Government website to find out more about the financial support available, eligibility criteria and how to apply.

Read about the UK Woodland Assurance Standard and how certification to FSC® or PEFC could help your business.

If you would like to contact the Sustainable Forest Management Team in Natural Resources Wales you can send your enquiry to

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