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The UK Forestry Standard

The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) is the reference standard for sustainable forest management in the UK. It outlines the context for forestry, sets out the approach of the UK governments to sustainable forest management, defines standards and requirements, and provides a basis for regulation and monitoring – including national and international reporting. Guidelines on how to meet the UKFS requirements are set out in sub-sections covering Biodiversity, Climate Change, Historic Environment, Landscape, People, Soil and Water.

The UK Forestry Standard ePub cover
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The UK Forestry Standard PDF cover
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The UKFS applies to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 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 here in the UK.

The Forestry Commission in England and Scotland, Natural Resources Wales and the Northern Ireland Forest Service are the main bodies responsible for implementing the UKFS. These bodies will assess forestry proposals against the Standard before giving approval and carry out checks to ensure it is being complied with. The precise arrangements for implementing and monitoring the Standard will vary between the four countries.

Further reading and useful sources of information are available via the links from this page and the subject specific pages for each element of sustainable forest management. Note that information on individual tree preservation procedures is available in this web-based planning guidance produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

A summary of the UKFS containing a checklist of the Requirements and Guidelines for General Forestry Practice and each of the sub-sections covering Biodiversity, Climate Change, Historic Environment, Landscape, People, Soil and Water, is also available to download in epub format.

Last updated: 21st December 2017

What's of interest

UKFS – background of the update to the 4th edition

UKFS and Forest Management Planning

The UK Forestry Standard and voluntary independent forest certification. The UK Forestry Standard is the governments’ forest practice standard for the UK, however it also plays an important role in defining requirements for independent certification in the UK, alongside the requirements of the certification schemes themselves. This diagram explains the relationships. More information can be found at


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