Forestry Commission e-alert

9 April 2018

  • New Management Plan Service Standard,
  • submit your Woodland Improvement applications by the 13 April and
  • check out the training opportunities on European Protected Species and Woodland Creation Design.

New Management Plan Service Standard launches

Our new Service Standard launches today

After a successful pilot in the South East and London Area a new Service Standard is launched in which we will aim to review 80% of first draft management plans and either approve or return with comments within 7 weeks.

  • The 7 week timeframe begins when we receive the plan and ends when the plan is Approved in Principle (not including Felling Licence)
  • In peak Countryside Stewardship workload times we will be less likely to meet the 7 weeks. 80% within 7 weeks is average over the year
  • This isn’t about lighter touch reviews – your plan must meet UK Forestry Standard (UKFS)
  • Feedback will include reasons why plans have not met UKFS requirements – and we expect these issues to be addressed in the next draft
  • We want to aim for a maximum of 2 iterations of the plan whenever possible
  • A pre-visit with a Woodland Officer (and on SSSI ideally also with Natural England) can be requested to try and ensure a better quality of plan is being submitted as a first draft

Please visit the Management Plan page of our website to find detailed guidance on writing a management plan as well as 3 example management plans, plus our updated Woodland Management Plan template and Inventory and Plan of Operations.

We would like to approve as many plans as possible at first draft – the most common reasons why we can’t approve are:

  • Incorrect plan template used
  • Poor quality of mapping or required suite of maps not supplied
  • Inventory not completed and Plan of Operations incorrect (or template modified and corrupted)
  • Not linking aims and objectives to management activity
  • Not adequately surveying and describing the woodland and not taking account of features
  • Failure to improve resilience of woodland structure and species composition
  • Not considering tree health now and in the future or consider and act on other threats to the woodland
  • Lack of information about consultation with all relevant stakeholders or how their responses have been considered
  • Monitoring programme inadequate or missing 

Join us at a webinar to learn more
If you would like to hear more about our new Service Standard please register to join our webinar on 12 April from 9.00-10.00am. You can register to join here.

The service standard will apply to plans received by our Admin Hubs from 3 April 2018. Area teams will also be engaging with agents and land managers to support the rollout of the service standard and ensure plans meet the required standard.

Countryside Stewardship Woodland Improvement via Higher Tier Deadline

Don't miss the submission deadline of 13 April

You must complete and return your application by 13 April 2018. If you requested an application pack for Woodland Improvement please ensure you have it. The final HT packs were issued in the last week of March so if you do not yet have your pack in please contact CS Delivery Services to check its status:
          Telephone: 0208 026 1089

Countryside Stewardship Woodland Tree Health Grant – Updated Manual for 2018

Available now on GOV.UK

The Countryside Stewardship Woodland Tree Health Grant manual and application forms including annex 4 have now been updated and will apply to all agreements commencing from 1 May 2018.
This edition of the manual makes a number of small changes and expands the grant offer to provide support under the Woodland Tree Health Restoration grant for infection with sweet chestnut blight. Other changes are mainly updates and clarifications to bring the manual in line with other CS grant manuals. The grant's terms and conditions have not changed.

European Protected Species Training

Book your place today

We are holding a series of European Protected Species (EPS) training events. Aimed at updating woodland agents, contractors and owners in changes to the legislation and good practice guidance, the training will help ensure woodland work can continue whilst keeping within the legislation. The training will be delivered by FC staff and species experts, and will comprise of both indoor and outdoor sessions. Events can be booked via the Forestry Commission box office, they are £50 and start at 9:30am. Booking is essential and places will be limited so please book here now via the Forestry Commission box office.