Woodland management objectives are likely to include one or more of the following:

  • General improvement in woodland condition. This may include the control of invasive species such as rhododendron or bracken
  • Woodland regeneration 
  • Control of woodland regeneration
  • Improvement of woodland or associated habitat for key species or communities
  • Protection of archaeological or cultural features. Examples of the latter may be veteran or landmark trees or a woodland structure illustrating a bygone woodland management system
  • Integration of woodland and farm management
  • Timber production
  • Enhancement or maintenance of recreational features, e.g. footpaths.

Normally controlled grazing is aimed at improving woodland and associated open ground habitat to meet biodiversity objectives.

Biodiversity objectives are aimed at helping specified key species or communities of trees, other plants or animals.

Cultural heritage objectives are aimed at safeguarding archaeological remains or woodland features of historical significance.

It is important to remember that controlled grazing is no more than a tool to help you achieve your woodland management objectives. In some cases woodland grazing may hinder the achievement of objectives (e.g. the successful establishment of existing seedling regeneration) or objectives may be more effectively achieved by other means (e.g. through stock exclusion or effective deer control).

If you think controlled woodland grazing is right for your woodland or parts of your woodland, this toolbox should help you decide the most appropriate form of grazing to meet your management objectives.