The following abbreviations have been used throughout the text to highlight sources of additional information. More info.


Action Plan



Management planning



All areas in the WMU shall be covered by management planning documentation which shall be retained for at least five years and shall incorporate:

  1. A long-term policy for the woodland.
  2. Assessment of relevant aspects of the woodland resource.
  3. Identification of any special characteristics and sensitivities of the woodland and appropriate treatments.
  4. Set and prioritise objectives.
  5. Rationale for management prescriptions.
  6. Outline planned felling and regeneration over the next 20 years.
  7. Rationale for the operational techniques to be used.
  8. Plans for implementation, first five years in detail.
  9. Appropriate maps.
  10. Plans to monitor, at least those elements identified under section 2.3.2 against the objectives.
  11. Specific measures to maintain or enhance those areas identified under section 6.1.1 considering areas where either the extent of these areas or their sensitivity to operations may be unknown.
  12. A short summary of the management planning documentation’s primary elements.

Means of verification

All woodlands:

  • Management planning documentation
  • Appropriate maps and records.

SLIM woodlands:

  • Long-term management objectives will suffice to meet (a).


Assessment and mapping of the woodland resource should include appropriate aspects of physical, silvicultural, ecological, historic environment, social and landscape issues and any special characteristics, and demonstrate consideration to neighbouring landowners. Relevant UK Biodiversity Action Plan Habitat Action Plans (HAPs) and Species Action Plans (SAPs) and Red List species should be taken into account.

The documentation and level of detail associated with the planning process should be appropriate to:

  • The size of the woodland
  • Its environmental and social sensitivity
  • The intensity of management
  • The likely impact of the operations planned
  • Context in the landscape
  • UKBAP priority woodland and non-woodland habitats and species.

The documentation might include:

  • For low intensity managed woodlands: a brief statement of intent and an annotated map
  • For other woodlands: a plan covering a 20 year period and incorporating an assessment at the landscape level
  • For a WMU consisting of multiple areas: an overarching plan.

The management planning documentation should cover all elements of the requirement but may refer to other documents as appropriate; these might include:

  • A fire plan
  • A deer management plan
  • An integrated pest management strategy
  • A research policy
  • Project plans
  • Necessary permissions from applicable regulatory and licensing authorities.


While respecting the confidentiality of information, woodland managers shall, upon request, make publicly available either:

  • management planning documentation, or
  • a summary of the management planning documentation.

 Means of verification

  • Management planning documentation
  • Summary management planning documentation.


The management planning documentation shall be reviewed every five years as a minimum.

Means of verification

  • Management planning documentation.


The review should be conducted in order to assess whether any aspects of the management planning documentation require revising or updating taking into account, for example:

  • Monitoring data (see section 2.3.4)
  • Advances in scientific research
  • Improved technical and forestry practice guidance
  • Results from surveys, research and consultation relating to the woodland covered by the management planning documentation.