Small and Low-Intensity Managed Forests

What is a SLIMF?

FSC certified logs in Breidden Forest managed by the Forestry Commission (© FSC UK)© FSC UKSLIMF stands for Small and Low-Intensity Managed Forest, also known in the FSC system as 'smallholders'. The criteria for being classed as a SLIMF or smallholder within the FSC system varies internationally.

FSC’s UK forest management standard is based around the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS), within  which, woodland management units are classed as managed in a low intensity manner when:

a) the rate of timber harvesting is less than 20% of the mean annual increment (MAI) within the total production woodland area of the unit
b) the annual harvest from the total production woodland area is less than 5,000 cubic metres
c) the average annual timber harvest from the total production woodland is less than 5,000 m3/year during the period of validity of the certificate as verified by harvest reports and surveillance audits.

The majority of UK woodland owners fall into this category as most woodland ownerships are relatively small.

How do SLIMFs benefit within the FSC system?

FSC recognises that access to FSC certification and its benefits can be more challenging for smallholders than for larger enterprises and supporting smallholders is a high priority for FSC.

SLIM forest/woodland managers benefit from streamlined certification procedures affecting both the initial certification assessment and annual monitoring.  SLIM woodland managers will not normally need the same level of documentation or management systems as managers of larger or more intensively managed woodland areas.

As certification schemes generally require a reduced intensity of audit for SLIM woodlands, costs are reduced.

How should SLIMFs attain certification?

There are two options for attaining FSC certification:

1. Through a group scheme.  Please note that the UKWAS Steering Group recommends that smaller owners should consider joining a group scheme rather than undertaking certification as a single entity. Certification within a group scheme has the potential to lower costs and certification requirements. 

2. Through a certification body.  Please note that we recommend that you contact more than one certification body as prices vary.

Further Information

Please click on the link below to access the FSC Smallholders Portal, which provides resources for small, low-intensity and community producers:

Please click on the link below to visit the UKWAS website:

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000231