Landscape

Scotland’s landscapes are legendary. From rugged highlands to farmed lowlands, fringed coastlines to dramatic seascapes, there’s beauty everywhere.

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Our dynamic forests shape spaces, frame views, and add colour and texture to the landscape. Diverse woodlands enrich this, whilst helping to expand habitats, promote biodiversity and giving us special places to enjoy.

In 2006 the UK signed the European Landscape Convention, recognising landscape as an important part of our natural heritage. Whether urban or rural, the quality of our natural and built spaces matter.

These resources will help land managers and foresters think about landscape within sustainable forest management.

UK Forestry Standard

The UK Forestry Standardis the reference standard for sustainable forest management. It puts UK Forestry into context, explains requirements and provides a basis for regulation and monitoring.

Seven guidelines outline best practice for subjects within the UK Forestry Standard. Relevant to landscape are:

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Forests and Landscape

Outlines the contribution that forests and woodlands make to our landscapes, and gives guidance on meeting the UKFS requirements through creative forest landscape design

 

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Forests and Historic Environment

Promotes the identification and protection of the historic environment and cultural heritage in forestry. Gives guidance on meeting UKFS requirements, including for historic and designed landscapes

 

Scottish Forestry Strategy

The Scottish Forestry Strategy outlines Scotland’s vision for forestry. One of the key aims is to develop a high quality, adaptable environment that includes quality landscape.

Sustainable forest management guidance

Forestry Commission Scotland have produced guidance to support The UK Forestry Standard and the Scottish Forest Strategy.

  • Strategic Forest Plans

    Describes how to prepare a long term forest management plan, getting 10 year approval for felling and thinning and for helping to get forest certification

  • Environmental Impact Assessment of Forestry Projects

    If your project is in a sensitive area and includes woodland creation, road-building, quarrying or deforestation, we'll decide if your project needs an EIA. This document has guidance on undertaking an EIA for a forestry project, and preparing the Environmental Statement

  • Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment

    Usually an associated part of the EIA. A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment makes sure potential effects of a forestry proposal on landscape and views people enjoy are considered in decision-making

  • Landscape advice - Landscape Institute Directory

    If your plans need the professional services of a landscape architect, you can consult the Landscape Institute Directory of Registered Practices (includes individuals)

Forestry Commission Scotland guidance

Building on the UKFS guidelines, these FCS documents offer ideas to help forest managers develop plans in relation to landscape.

 

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Achieving diversity in Scotland’s forest landscapes

Guidance to help forest managers develop forest management plans. Includes advice on the benefits of considering different management systems and tree species.

 

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Conserving and managing trees and woodlands in Scotland’s designed landscapes

Guidance to help owners and managers care for all the tree and woodland components found in designed landscapes across Scotland

 

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The creation of small woodlands on farms

Describes the benefits of creating new small woodlands, where they are best sited and for the three main farming settings in Scotland on their planning, layout and species

 

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Management of ancient wood pasture

Gives an introduction to the restoration and management of ancient wood pastures in Scotland

 

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Design techniques for forest management planning

A practical guide providing step-by-step guidance on design techniques for forest management planning that can contribute towards the preparation of a strategic forest plan

 

Training courses

We’ve developed two training courses in landscape design to help woodland managers prepare plans sensitive to their locale and situation.

  • Forest landscape design

    A 2-day practical course to develop your landscape appreciation and design skills so you can better fit your forest into a local landscape

  • Woodlands for people

    A 2-day practical course that shows you how the design process aids woodland proposal, so they're better suited for safe enjoyment by people

Guidance from other organisations

As well as the resources above, the guidance below is also relevant landscape and forestry.

  • Landscape Character Assessments

    Scottish Natural Heritage has mapped and described the variety of landscapes found throughout Scotland. The use of LCA is highlighted in the UK Forestry Standard and Scottish Forestry Strategy as guidance on how to integrate forestry into Scotland’s variety of landscapes

  • Historic Land Use Assessments

    The Historic Land-use Assessment (HLA) is a joint project between Historic Scotland and RCAHMS. It's a GIS dataset viewed as an interactive map. It shows historic land-use patterns, describing them by period, form and function. It aims to enhance knowledge and understanding of the historic landscape and to inform land management decisions relating to it

Forest and Landscape Advice

For a summary of what forest and woodland managers should know about landscape, you can download and print off the Forest and Landscape Information and Advice note (PDF 948K)