myForest is a free-to-use, focused GIS platform for forest creation and management, and a flagship project of the Sylva Foundation. myForest brings the latest technology to the forestry sector, for owners of small forests, community forest groups, environmental charities, and forest management companies. myForest provides comprehensive online mapping, digital tools and the latest resources not only to sustainably manage forests, but to provide unique support for the creation of new forests around Britain. To find out more about myForest, read the introductory article in Issue 37 of Farm Woodland News or visit myforest.sylva.org.uk.
Building upon the success of a two-year woodland creation pilot, in partnership with Scottish Forestry, Sylva Foundation is excited to announce the launch of new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) functionality aimed at providing additional support for landowners and agents through the integration of the Scottish Forestry EIA process into the online platform.
Having created a myForest account, users are able to rapidly assess whether their woodland creation project requires an EIA through the integrated “Creation EIA Quiz” (shown below). This quiz provides users with an overview of the EIA process, additional information, and a simple two-part quiz to determine whether they need to complete a Screening Opinion Request Form and Issue Log.
A screenshot taken of the myForest platform showcasing the integrated EIA quiz now available to users in Scotland.
Determining whether your site is below required thresholds for the EIA process can be challenging and complicated. Through the support provided within the EIA quiz, and myForest generally, you can easily and confidently complete the assessment. Depending on your results, myForest will provide guidance on the next steps you need to take along your woodland creation journey.
Sites above a certain threshold will require consent from Scottish Forestry. Should you need to complete a Screening Opinion Request Form and Issue Log as part of the EIA process, myForest is able to support your application through the newly integrated template documents found freely available within the platform.
Aiming to demystify the EIA process, each template document is divided into manageable components. Each of these components is supported through additional guidance, web-links, and help icons where appropriate. This will enable you to fully understand what information is required, and where to find it (as shown below). Once you have completed each form, you can download the document as a pdf. These documents are then ready to be submitted to Scottish Forestry, along with any maps you may have produced in myForest as supporting material.
A screenshot taken of the myForest platform showcasing the integrated Screening Opinion Request Form (SORF) required by Scottish Forestry as part of the EIA process. On the right, the downloadable SORF pdf is highlighted as a direct output generated by information inputted by a myForest user.
In addition to launching the EIA functionality, Sylva Foundation has released supporting guidance providing multimedia formats to aid users through each step of the process. It is hoped that this will reduce the barriers faced by those wishing to create new woodland, while simultaneously improving the quality of applications received by Scottish Forestry. This detailed guidance can be found on the myForest website alongside an-ever growing compendium of resources.
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