Use of the certification standard

This certification standard has been designed primarily for use in the certification of UK woodlands by independent certification bodies to demonstrate that a woodland is sustainably managed.

The certification standard can be used in conjunction with a separate chain-of-custody certification standard to provide traceability and so facilitate on-product labelling of forest products from sustainably managed sources; full details are available from the relevant certification schemes. It may also be used in conjunction with an ISO 14001 environmental management system to provide performance targets or in conjunction with the Woodland Carbon Code to demonstrate that a forest-carbon sequestration project is managed in accordance with the principles of sustainable forest management.

Full conformance with the certification standard is voluntary.  However, an independent third-party evaluation by an accredited certification body (sometimes referred to as a ‘certification authority’, ‘conformity assessment body’ or ‘certifier’) is necessary to confirm conformance in order to obtain a certificate.  No woodland owner or manager is required by law or regulation to undergo such an audit. However, it should be noted that some requirements of the certification standard are also required by law, and so must be complied with by all woodland owners/managers. Other requirements are a condition of Forestry Commission and Forest Service grants and felling licences and must be complied with by all relevant licensees and grant-holders.

The structure of the certification standard relates to the way in which management is implemented in the woodland, addressing specific aspects of management or types of operation in turn.

The sections of the certification standard are as follows:

  1. Compliance with the law and conformance with the requirements of the certification standard
  2. Management planning
  3. Woodland design: creation, felling and replanting
  4. Operations
  5. Protection and maintenance
  6. Conservation and enhancement of biodiversity
  7. The community
  8. Forestry workforce.