Getting Started

A selection of useful resources for new (and not so new) woodland owners, and for those creating woodlands

Online resources

Looking after a woodland from

An introductory guide to woodland management, originally published by the Forestry Commission, now available on the Royal Forestry Society’s website.

How to Manage your Woodland, a collection of resources from the Forestry Commission on management techniques for healthy and resilient woodlands.

Managing woodland for wildlife, from the Bulworthy Project.

The Woodland Wildlife Toolkit, for advice on managing woodlands for wildlife, tailored to the location and type of your woodland.

myForest, an online mapping platform with digital tools to support the sustainable management of woodlands, produced by Sylva Foundation.

The Ecological Site Classification tool from Forest Research, for help with selecting tree species ecologically suited to specific sites.

Magic Map, an interactive mapping tool with information from government agencies about the natural environment, such as designated nature reserves, SSSIs and priority habitats.

A guide to planning new woodland in England, a detailed publication on relevant procedures from the Forestry Commission.


Badgers, Beeches & Blisters: Getting started in your own wood by Julian Evans, a free e-book from

Managing your woodland for wildlife by David Blakesley and Peter Buckley, a free e-book from

The Tree Grower’s Guide, a beginners’ guide to identifying and growing trees from seed, a free e-book from The Tree Council with accompanying videos and other resources.

The Books page has many more book recommendations, covering everything from woodland management to forest folklore.


A number of organisations run excellent introductory woodland management courses, including Small Woods and the Royal Forestry Society – please see the main Courses page for more information.

Many more course providers across the UK provide training in woodland crafts, skills such as coppicing and charcoal-making, chainsaw use, bushcraft, etc. that can help you get even more out of your woodland.


Other useful organisations

Conservation & Wildlife Societies

Publications and online tools


Insurance is not compulsory, but if you feel more comfortable insuring against third party risks, these companies offer dedicated woodland insurance

Gary Alexander at Beech Tree Insurance

Rural Arbor Products

Ashburnham Insurance 

Evergreen Insurance Services

National associations such as the NFU or the CLA, run specialist schemes for landowners.