Scotland’s landscapes are legendary. From rugged highlands to farmed lowlands, fringed coastlines to dramatic seascapes, there’s beauty everywhere.


Our dynamic forests shape spaces, frame views, and add colour and texture to the landscape. Diverse woodlands enrich this, whilst helping to expand habitats, promote biodiversity and giving us special places to enjoy.

In 2006 the UK signed the European Landscape Convention, recognising landscape as an important part of our natural heritage. Whether urban or rural, the quality of our natural and built spaces matter.

These resources will help land managers and foresters think about landscape within sustainable forest management.

Cover of the UK Forestry Standard bookletUK Forestry Standard

The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) is the reference standard for sustainable forest management in the UK. It outlines the context for forestry, sets out the approach of the UK governments to sustainable forest management, defines standards and requirements, and provides a basis for regulation and monitoring – including national and international reporting.

Guidelines on how to meet the UKFS requirements are set out in sub-sections covering Biodiversity, Climate Change, Historic Environment, Landscape, People, Soil and Water.

Scottish Forestry Strategy

The Scottish Forestry Strategy outlines Scotland’s vision for forestry. One of the key aims is to develop a high quality, adaptable environment that includes quality landscape.

Sustainable forest management guidance

Forestry Commission Scotland have produced guidance to support The UK Forestry Standard and the Scottish Forest Strategy.

  • Strategic Forest Plans

    Describes how to prepare a long term forest management plan, getting 10 year approval for felling and thinning and for helping to get forest certification

  • Environmental Impact Assessment of Forestry Projects

    If your project is in a sensitive area and includes woodland creation, road-building, quarrying or deforestation, we'll decide if your project needs an EIA. This document has guidance on undertaking an EIA for a forestry project, and preparing the Environmental Statement

Forestry Commission Scotland guidance

Building on the UKFS guidelines, these FCS documents offer ideas to help forest managers develop plans in relation to landscape.



Achieving diversity in Scotland’s forest landscapes

Guidance to help forest managers develop forest management plans. Includes advice on the benefits of considering different management systems and tree species.



Conserving and managing trees and woodlands in Scotland’s designed landscapes

Guidance to help owners and managers care for all the tree and woodland components found in designed landscapes across Scotland



The creation of small woodlands on farms

Describes the benefits of creating new small woodlands, where they are best sited and for the three main farming settings in Scotland on their planning, layout and species



Management of ancient wood pasture

Gives an introduction to the restoration and management of ancient wood pastures in Scotland



Design techniques for forest management planning

A practical guide providing step-by-step guidance on design techniques for forest management planning that can contribute towards the preparation of a strategic forest plan


Training courses

We’ve developed two training courses in landscape design to help woodland managers prepare plans sensitive to their locale and situation.

  • Forest landscape design

    A 2-day practical course to develop your landscape appreciation and design skills so you can better fit your forest into a local landscape

  • Woodlands for people

    A 2-day practical course that shows you how the design process aids woodland proposal, so they're better suited for safe enjoyment by people

Guidance from other organisations

As well as the resources above, the guidance below is also relevant landscape and forestry.

  • Landscape Character Assessments

    Scottish Natural Heritage has mapped and described the variety of landscapes found throughout Scotland. The use of LCA is highlighted in the UK Forestry Standard and Scottish Forestry Strategy as guidance on how to integrate forestry into Scotland’s variety of landscapes

  • Historic Land Use Assessments

    The Historic Land-use Assessment (HLA) is a joint project between Historic Scotland and RCAHMS. It's a GIS dataset viewed as an interactive map. It shows historic land-use patterns, describing them by period, form and function. It aims to enhance knowledge and understanding of the historic landscape and to inform land management decisions relating to it

Forest and Landscape Advice

For a summary of what forest and woodland managers should know about landscape, you can download and print off the Forest and Landscape Information and Advice note