Small or 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 or 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.

In the UK, a forest is considered ‘small’ if it is 500 hectares or smaller in size. It is considered to be managed at a ‘low intensity’ if:

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
and either
b) the annual harvest from the total production woodland area is less than 5,000 cubic metre
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.

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 should be reduced.

How should SLIMFs attain certification?

There are two options for attaining FSC certification:

1. Through a group scheme. Certification within a group scheme has the potential to lower costs and certification requirements. Please note that we recommend that you contact more than one group scheme co-ordinator as prices and the terms of group membership vary.

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 here to visit FSC International's page on certifying small forests, which provides guides and resources for small, low-intensity and community producers

Please click here to visit the UKWAS website.

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000231