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Monday, 11 June 2018
FSC UK Small Woods Project

Small Woods PAWs event (© FSC UK)© FSC UK

FSC needs YOU to change the way we look at small woods

FSC UK is launching a new initiative to improve access to FSC certification for small woodlands. We are looking for six individuals representing environmental, social and economic interests to form a working group which will develop a simple, straightforward standard for the management of small woodlands based on the FSC Principles. In addition to the working group, there will be a larger consultative forum, which will offer its members the opportunity to make their contributions in a less formal and less demanding way.

Small woodlands make up a significant percentage of the total area of woodland in the UK as well as in many other countries around the world, and this means that they are of great ecological, social and economic importance.

To date, FSC has not been as successful as we would like in encouraging small woodland owners to seek certification. Owners have told us that their reluctance is due to too much paperwork, complex standard requirements, and high costs. With this initiative we aim to make certification lighter on paperwork, simpler, and cheaper, while still maintaining the credibility that stakeholders expect from FSC, which we hope to achieve through a careful assessment of risks and opportunities for positive change.

Let’s be clear; we intend to be really radical, and to test the limits of the FSC system. We may not end up with a standard that can be used for FSC forest management certification in the UK. But what we learn along the way about just how far we can push risk-based approaches to certification of small woodlands will be of immense value not just in the UK but around the world.

To learn more, you can read a more technical introduction to the project. If you’re really keen and think you have what it takes to be part of the group developing the standard, you can read the full, formal terms of reference.

To get involved, ask questions or make comments, please contact Owen Davies at by 29 June.

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000231