What is the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS)?
The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) is the technical standard for sustainable forestry practice in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and its content underpins delivery of policy in all four countries. It was first published in 1998, with the current (4th) edition published in 2017. It provides a framework for the delivery of sustainable forest management (a wide-ranging concept that incorporates the environmental, economic and social aspects of forestry) in the UK and is based on internationally agreed criteria.
Read the UK Forestry Standard.
How often is the UKFS reviewed?
A review of the UKFS takes place every five years. The current review aims to ensure the UKFS remains up-to-date, balanced and applicable across the UK. The review process was launched in February 2021.
Who is involved in the current review?
The UKFS review is overseen by a Project Board made up of government representatives from the four administrations and is co-ordinated by Scottish Forestry. The final content of the new edition of the UKFS will be co-produced by the four administrations.
Stakeholder engagement is a key part of the review process and delivered through a UKFS Stakeholder Reference Group and two stakeholder consultations. The second consultation closed in December 2022 and captured stakeholder views on the draft content of the next edition of the Standard.
This draft content was developed using feedback from specialist assessments of the existing Standard, experts from the country forestry authorities, Forest Research, external organisations, and the first stakeholder consultation held in summer 2021.
We are now preparing the final document following detailed consideration of feedback from the second stakeholder consultation. We are grateful to the 57 individuals and organisations who submitted a consultation response. All responses have been reviewed by an independent consultant and their report along with the responses, where respondents gave permission, are published on the Scottish Government Citizen Space website.
The consultation responses have been considered and the four UK governments are finalising the content of the updated Standard. Further updates will be provided in due course.