Getting started: Management
As a woodland owner or manager, the good news about starting to produce raw material for wood fuel is that it is possible to choose the level which is right for your business. At one end of the scale, contractors and professionals can be brought in to manage, harvest and transport the timber, whilst at the other end these activities can be kept in-house. The level of involvement in the supply chain will depend upon available skills, machinery, space and opportunities in local markets.
Before getting started, it is necessary to match expectations against the available resources and to consider the following:
• What are the access constraints to and within the woodland?
• What infrastructure would be needed to get the best from the resource? For example, will new access routes be needed for heavy machinery or lorries?
• Security might need to be considered, depending on the location of the site.
The management techniques, machinery and skills needed to maximise output from woodland depends on factors such as the age and species mix of the woodland, topography and the history of management on the site. Often in Wales, topography is the biggest factor determining how woodlands are managed, the resources needed to develop them commercially, and their future management.
Professional woodland managers can advise on how to take woodland forward commercially and also on any grant aid the owner may be eligible to apply for. Comprehensive advice and guidance about tree planting and farm woodlands is also available from the Woodland Trust.
For further advice and guidance view our PDF guide ‘A landowners guide to managing woodlands for wood fuel. Click on the picture link below:
The United Kingdom Forestry Standard (UKFS) is the reference standard for sustainable forest management in the UK. View the The Forestry Commission England's report HERE