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


Action Plan



Management planning

2.2Productive potential


The planning of woodland management operations shall:

  1. Take fully into account the environmental, social and economic impacts of proposed operations.
  2. Aim to secure the necessary investment to maintain the ecological value of the woodland.

Means of verification

  • Management planning documentation
  • Financial records relating to the woodland resource
  • Budget forecasting, expenditure and potential sources of funding
  • Field inspection.


Harvesting and restocking plans shall not jeopardise the long-term productive potential of the woodland and are consistent with management objectives.

Means of verification

  • Compartment records
  • Growth and yield estimates
  • Production records or appropriate standing sale volume assessments and reconciliation with estimates
  • Demonstrated control of thinning intensity
  • Owner’s/manager’s knowledge
  • Field observation.


Examples of growth and yield estimates include:

  • Average growth rates or yield class for major species on different site types
  • Predictions of thinning and felling yields for different crop types
  • Forecasts of areas to be subject to harvesting operations in future years.

Accuracy of growth and yield estimates should be appropriate to the scale and intensity of the operation.

The resilience of the woodland and different species to climate change should be considered.

It is recognised that in some circumstances (e.g. during restructuring) the harvest level will exceed the increment.

It is recognised that some management objectives, e.g. replacing conifers with broadleaves or creating additional open space, will reduce the productive potential of the woodland.

In SLIM woodlands, or where timber production is not a primary objective, area rather than volume predictions are acceptable in planning and monitoring.



Authorised harvesting of non-timber woodland products shall not permanently exceed, or diminish, the long-term productive potential of the woodland.

Means of verification

  • Evidence from records and discussions with the owner/manager that quantities harvested are in line with sustainable growth rates and that there are no significant adverse environmental impacts.


Non-timber woodland products include foliage, moss, fungi, berries, seed, venison and other animal products.

See also sections 5.1.4 in relation to protection from wild mammals, and 6.4 in relation to game management.



Harvesting and timber sales documentation shall enable all timber sold to be traced back to the woodland of origin.

Means of verification

Evidence from:

  • Harvesting output records
  • Contract documents
  • Harvesting contractors’ invoices
  • Despatch or delivery notes
  • Hauliers’ invoices
  • Chain-of-custody codes on all invoices and delivery documents.


The purpose of this clause is to ensure that timber can be traced back to the point of sale from the woodland (standing, at roadside or delivered). The responsibility of the owner/manager is limited to ensuring that timber removed from the woodland can be traced forward along the wood supply chain from the first point of supply.

Where logs from other sources are being stored in the same area, appropriate records should be maintained to demonstrate the source and quantity of timber obtained from other woodland areas.

Advice to owners/managers

Certification schemes may require certificate holders to provide additional information on sales documentation relating to:

  • chain-of-custody certification, and
  • the use of certification scheme trademarks.

Owners/managers are advised to seek guidance from their certification body or group scheme manager.