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Forest Network experiences the realities of Scottish forestry

Members of FSC’s Forest Network – co-ordinators of national forest stewardship standard development processes from North America, Europe and CIS countries – meet twice a year to share experiences and best practices. FSC UK was delighted to host the November 2017 meeting in Edinburgh.

Members of the FSC Forest Network learn about the restructuring of plantations in Scotland (© M. Kade)© M. Kade"It was wonderful to welcome colleagues from other national offices to Scotland," says FSC UK Forest Standards Manager Dr Owen Davies. "The Forest Network is a diverse group – with members from Russia to Canada, Spain to Finland – and it’s incredibly valuable to learn from their national processes. For some members this was their first trip to the UK, and for many it was their first direct experience of UK forestry."

The meeting included a half day field visit, kindly hosted by Tilhill Forestry.

"We wanted to demonstrate the realities of commercial forestry in the UK," says Owen. "Ben Schofield, Senior Forest Manager at Tilhill, did a great job of explaining the challenges of restructuring upland conifer plantations in line with the UK Woodland Assurance Standard. For many members of the Forest Network, who operate in very different forest environments, this was a real eye-opener. In a global certification system, there is clearly a need for a degree of commonality in national standards – but there is also an important need to recognise national differences."

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