This section provides information on getting your scheme off the ground – doing the detailed design and making sure that the trees which you are planting are free from pests and diseases.
The detailed design process
You’ll now be ready to prepare a detailed design for your scheme. The Woodland Trust provides information and advice on this process, which includes:
- obtaining a base plan to scale, including contours
- identifying any known constraints to planting (for example, ecological/ heritage designations, underground and overground services) plus use of the checklist below, and the UKFS 2017 Forest Design Principles (if appropriate)
- drawing your proposals on a plan, measuring the area and calculating quantities of trees required
- identifying an appropriate mix of species; deciding on stock size, planting density, means of protection and ground preparation prior to planting
- considering maintenance requirements for 5 years to ensure establishment and any ongoing management needed
- calculating costings
Remember that new woodlands over 5 hectares in any area (or 2 hectares in an AONB/ National Park) require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), preparation of a Forest Management Plan and consent from the Forestry Commission. EIAs can also be required for smaller planting schemes in certain circumstances. See our summary of requirements for different sizes of schemes in Step 1: Identify your objectives.
Guidance on plant/seed sourcing and biosecurity
To support biodiversity, future resilience and to avoid the spread of disease, it is crucial to consider safe seed sourcing and biosecurity.
Always look for the Plant Healthy mark when selecting planting stock.
It is important to be clear on your objectives for a new woodland. Selecting provenances from 200-550km (2 to 5 degree latitude) further south may help improve timber yield in the context of a changing climate. For woodland conservation, resilience and enhanced biosecurity, evidence suggests that tree seed sourced from local UK provenances will be best adapted for UK sites in the long term.
For native species, source trees from seed provenance area 305 where possible (which includes Cornwall, Devon and some of Somerset and Dorset), or by working directly with local nurseries specialising in seed collection from local, ecologically rich woodlands. For more information explaining UK provenance see the Forestry Commission Information Note: Choosing provenance in broadleaved trees.
Where possible, procure trees that have been sourced and grown in the UK to help avoid the spread of disease. Consider sourcing trees using the UK and Ireland Sourced-and-Grown-Assurance (UKISG-A) scheme. Where this is not possible, choose nurseries with strong biosecurity measures e.g. quarantine for imports.
Choose a diversity of species for your woodland creation scheme to increase their resilience to disease, and to provide a variety of habitats. Allowing trees and shrubs to naturally regenerate drives site-based adaptation, builds genetic diversity, and supports greater resilience to climate change and disease.
- Climate Change Accord: a call for Resilient Forests, Woods and Trees
- Forest research – Genetic considerations for provenance choice of native trees under climate change in England