Sylva Foundation is developing an innovative online tool to support people in designing and creating new woodlands that meet the UK Forestry Standard.
As societal attitudes shift, and more grant funding for woodland creation becomes available, it is likely that we’ll see a dramatic increase in the volume of new woodlands planted across the UK and with that a whole new range of barriers and opportunities will arise.
Developing the myForest Woodland Creation tool, which will sit alongside the existing myforest Woodland Manager tool, Deer Manager tool, and Woodland Wildlife Toolkit, the Sylva Foundation is looking to support good woodland stewardship from inception through to full woodland management while meeting the landowners final objectives over time.
We have three main aims in creating this new tool:
- All new woodlands created not only meet minimum legal requirements but demonstrate good practice;
- All new woodlands are created with purpose and long-term goals to support sustainable development;
- All new woodlands created will remain in good condition and managed according to standards of the UKFS.
Working in partnership with Scottish Forestry and Woodland Trust Scotland (through the Croft Woodland Project), we have launched a one-year pilot aimed at testing the effectiveness of the myForest Woodland Creator tool in aiding Scottish land managers in developing creation plans compliant with Scottish Forestry requirements.
The Woodland Creator tool allows landowners to map their site on multiple backgrounds from Google Maps through to Ordnance Survey and with that overlay several governmental, non-governmental and other organisation data layers to facilitate effective initial site surveying and opportunities mapping.
A screenshot taken from the Woodland Creator tool showing the Ordnance Survey background mapping with a SSSI and Ancient Woodland data layer.
Through allowing users to collate and store site data and plans along the iterative creation process, the Woodland Creator tool creates a single location to store all the necessary information for effective designing, planning, and monitoring ensuring your data is stored securely and is there whenever needed.
Running several calculations in the background such as compartment and sub-compartment area and perimeter, and seedling requirements based on planting densities and desired percentage coverage; the Woodland Creator speeds up the design process effectively.
A screenshot of the automated tree quantity calculations based on percentage coverage, stocking density and sub-compartment size.
While collating your maps, design plans, and operational plans, you are able to generate differing Scottish Forestry plan outputs necessary for grant applications. Currently we offer the Woodland Creation Operational Plan, the Small Woodland Creation Operational Plan, and the Components Area Table.
A screenshot of the Woodland Creation Operational Plan downloadable output form the myForest Woodland Creator tool.
The myForest platform is a free to use software application allowing you to map, plan and manage your site and woodlands, with a small membership fee (£24 for woodland owners, and £120 for land agents) additional functionality is available.
This article has been published in the Autumn 2021 edition of the Farm Woodland News. Download a copy to access all articles. Subscribe to receive newly published editions via email by using the form here.
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