The UK Forestry Standard

This guidance sets out the UK governments' approach to sustainable forestry, including standards and requirements, regulations and monitoring, and reporting.


The UK Forestry Standard


Work has begun on reviewing the current UK Forestry Standard. A review takes place every five years and the aim is to update and publish the next version by the end of 2022. The review is overseen by a Project Board made up of representatives from the four UK administrations, and is co-ordinated by Scottish Forestry. Stakeholder engagement and consultation is an important element of the review. A UK stakeholder reference group has been established to support the countries in developing an updated Standard, ensuring it is relevant and appropriate across the UK. For further information contact

The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) is the reference standard for sustainable forest management across the UK, and applies to all woodland, regardless of who owns or manages it.

The standard ensures that international agreements and conventions on areas such as sustainable forest management, climate change, biodiversity and the protection of water resources are applied in the UK.

The UKFS outlines the context for forestry in the UK. It sets out the approach of the UK governments to sustainable forest management by defining requirements and guidelines, and providing a basis for regulation and monitoring - including national and international reporting.

This document covers key different elements of sustainable forest management:

  • biodiversity
  • climate change
  • historic environment
  • landscape
  • people
  • soil
  • water

The Forestry Commission in England and Scotland, Natural Resources Wales and the Northern Ireland Forest Service are the main bodies responsible for implementing the UKFS. These bodies assess forestry proposals against the UKFS before giving approval and carry out checks to ensure woodland owners and managers comply with forestry regulations. The precise arrangements for implementing and monitoring the standard will vary between the four countries.

Published 21 December 2017
Last updated 23 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. Additional information on the review process for the current UKFS.

  2. First published.