DGA Forestry LLP (formerly David Goss & Associates) (FSC-C011541) is one of Scotland’s longest established independent forestry consultants. In 2019 they celebrate 20 years of FSC forest management certification, as one of the first private forestry companies in the UK to achieve the standard.
David Goss established the firm in 1972 to provide an independent management and consultancy service to forest owners, free from the conflict of interest often found in the larger contracting based organisations. They have a wide range of clients from private individuals, farmers and estate owners, to multi-national companies and government agencies.
The company operates out of its office in Dumfries which gives excellent access to the woodlands under management. From three original clients, DGA’s management portfolio now consists of over 80 retained clients, with approximately 20,000 hectares of woodland under management (Roughly eight and a half thousand hectares of which hold FSC certification). Clients’ woodlands are principally located in south, central and west Scotland, but management extends into northern England, the Scottish Highlands and Wales.
FSC certification has helped DGA to develop robust and in-depth internal auditing systems which, as a small independent company, provides them with invaluable feedback regarding their compliance with the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS). “It demonstrates to our clients that we are aiming for the highest possible standards of sustainable forest management, environmental protection and ethical behaviour,” explains James Anderson, Partner at DGA Forestry.
The company has found the FSC auditing process to be rigorous and thorough. Their internal systems are continually evolving through the input they receive from their annual FSC audit. “At times it can be challenging but it’s also rewarding”, says James. “It is also always nice when we are commended for good management practice and exceeding the standard!”
As far as advice for others goes James recommends that potential certificate holders both read the standard (!) and embrace the process; “a way of ensuring your own systems and practices are of a high standard”.