F: Using data relating to native woodland plans on the National Forest Estate

Forest design plans (FDPs) are prepared for every area of forest on the National Forest Estate, which is the land managed for the nation by Forestry Commission Scotland.

Design plans show the future direction of management in terms of felling and restocking, minimum intervention areas or conversion to native woodlands along with areas where lower impact silvicultural systems will be utilised. The FDPs are set in the context of strategic forest district plans.

A native woodland strategy for the NFE is currently being prepared (2009/10) and this will help managers to set the context for native woodland proposals in future revisions of their Forest District Strategic Plans.

Formal management plans are not normally prepared for individual native woodland areas, unless they are on designated sites (e.g. SSSI, SAC,SPA), which all have management plans. Designated site plans can sometimes form part of design plans if the designated site is a small proportion of the design plan area.

Any operational work within native woodlands is covered by site specific plans called Work Plans.

Native Woodland Survey of Scotland data will be used to help native woodland decision making on the NFE at every scale: site plans, Forest Design Plans, Forest District plans and national strategy. The main uses will include:

  • identifying native woodland, condition & threats
  • prioritising work programmes for restoration & enhancement of ancient woodland sites, condition improvement of existing native woodland and expansion of native woodland
  • developing native woodland habitat networks on the NFE and contributing to the wider native woodland networks
  • providing information to help the delivery of biodiversity requirements in the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) on the NFE, including those for managing PAWS and promoting deadwood
  • prioritising control of invasive non-native species
  • locating woodland habitat types and tree species that could potentially support important UKBAP priority species or other rare or endangered species, e.g hazel & hazel gloves or aspen & aspen hoverfly
  • helping to direct management for herbivore impacts
  • reviewing the native woodland strategy for the NFE once all the NWSS data is available, probably in 2014.