Guidance notes: wildlife and forest operations

This suite of Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) Guidance Notes updates forestry practice guidance in response to recent changes in wildlife protection law in Scotland.

It is intended mainly for woodland managers and owners in Scotland, but will also be relevant to anyone organising recreational events and activities that might disturb protected wildlife species in woodlands.

We are working with Scottish Natural Heritage to develop detailed guidance and follow up training for woodland managers on the key European protected species found in Scotland, namely bats, otter, great crested newt and wildcat.

Forest operations and wildlife protection

Guidance note 31: forest operations and wildlife protection (PDF 48k)

This note summarises current wildlife species protection law in Scotland in relation to forestry operations and gives general guidance on best practice to minimise adverse effects on protected species.

Forest operations and birds

Guidance note 32: forest operations and birds in Scottish forests (PDF 119k)

This note gives further advice on how best to plan forestry operations and recreational activities in woodlands to avoid causing damage or disturbance to protected wild birds in Scotland.

Managing Forests for White-Tailed Eagles

This practice note provides advice to forest managers and landowners to help them to plan and carry out forestry operations and other activities in relation to the statutory protection of white-tailed eagles (sea eagles). It replaces general guidance relating to white-tailed eagles contained in Forestry Operations and Birds (guidance note 32, above).

Managing forests for white-tailed eagles (PDF 1.9Mb)

Forest operations and red squirrels

Guidance note 33: forest operations and red squirrels in Scottish forests (PDF 231k)

This note sets out further advice on how best to plan and carry out forest operations and recreational activities in woodlands to minimise the possible impact on red squirrels.

Forest operations and European protected species

Guidance note 34: forest operations and European protected species in Scottish forests (PDF 53k)

This note gives initial guidance on the implications for forestry of changes to be made under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2007. These regulations transpose the EU Habitats and Species Directive into Scots Law.

Forest operations and individual European Protected Species in Scotland

These notes indicate how to establish the woodland features likely to be used by bats, great crested newts, otters and wildcats, particularly as breeding sites or resting places, and how to plan and undertake management of woodlands to minimise the risk of committing offences.

You'll find other FCS guidance notes in the guidance notes archive.