Multi-Purpose Woodland Management (SRUC)

Dodd Wood, Cumbria, England. Managed as a Multi-Purpose Woodland for diverse environmental, economic and social values. Photo: E. R. Wilson.

The purpose of this page is to provide resources for the module in Multi-Purpose Woodland Management at SRUC, January to April 2024. The module is designed for 3rd year students registered on the BSc (Hons) Environmental Management and BSc (Hons) Wildlife and Conservation Management degree programmes. Resources will be added to support individual lectures and wider reading about forestry and woodland management in the UK and Ireland.

The 2024 Edinburgh group on the woodland creation field trip | SRUC Oatridge College | 13 02 2024 | Photo: © 2024 Ignacio Sepulveda/SRUC

Teaching Timetable 2023-24

Week Date Lecture/Session Lcturer location Staff
1 16 Jan 2024 Module Introduction Assessment strategy and assignment briefing Lecture 1: History of forests/woodland in the UK/Scotland. Define major woodland types. Introduce environmental, economic and social values of woodland (ecosystem services).
ACTIVITY: What is multi-functional forestry?
Lecture 2: Current policy and institutional framework for forestry and woodland management in Scotland; climate change (adaptation and resilience).  UK Forestry Standard.
2 23 Jan 2024 Lecture 1: Applied tree biology: tree structure and function; limiting factors; resources for tree growth.
Lecture 2: Tree species in the forest landscape: native, non-native, conifers, broadleaves. Autecology.
3 30 Jan 2024 Lecture 1: Introduction to tree and forest dynamics.
Lecture 2: Introduction to species selection using ecological site classification (ESC).
ACTIVITY: Which species is “best” for different sites?
4 06 Feb 2024 Lecture 1: Establishing farm woodlands – benefits and challenges, available guidance and incentives (Incl. case studies)
Assignment 1 (Poster) briefing.
Lecture 2: Integrating farming and woodland management: diversification, agroforestry, small-scale woodland management.
ACTIVITY: myForest set-up
5 13 Feb 2024 FIELDTRIP 1: Woodland Creation Design Planning (Assignment 1) Edinburgh/Ayr students: Oatridge Farm. Aberdeen students: Tulloch Farm. E
6 20 Feb 2024 myForest Workshop for Woodland Creation
Leaders: Andrew Clark and Paul Orsi, Sylva Foundation.
ACTIVITY: Case studies of small-scale woodland design.
7 27 Feb 2024 Lecture 1: Woodland ecosystems, woodland biodiversity and native woodland types
Lecture 2: Fungi
Lecture 3: Woodland conservation and management
8 05 Mar 2024 Silviculture 1
Lecture 1: Introduction to stand dynamics and silviculture.
Lecture 2: The silvicultural cycle: establishment, protection, thinning, harvesting. (Harvesting systems and machines.)
Assessment 1 (Poster) Deadline: Fri 08 March (13:00)
9 12 Mar 2024 Lecture: Deer management in forestry and woodlands.
ACTIVITY: Group project on deer management
Assessment 2 briefing: Essay Q & A.
A   A/E CH   CH/TW
Woodland ecosystems and networks – research lecture
11 26 Mar 2024 FIELD TRIP 2:  Multi-Purpose Woodland Management in Perthshire (Assignment 2)
Forest 1: Craigvinean Forest, Forestry and Land Scotland. Multi-purpose forest with environmental, ecological and social values; silvicultural systems; forest operations.
Forest 2: Taymount Wood, West Stormont Woodland Group. Focus on social, environmental and ecological values; Community Asset Transfer Scheme (CATS).
A/E CH (A) TW (E)  
  02 Apr 2024 EASTER BREAK [Week 1]
  09 Apr 2024 EASTER BREAK [Week 2]
12 16 Apr 2024 Silviculture 2
Lecture 1: Silvicultural Systems and Multi-Purpose Woodlands of the Future; clear-felling, seed tree, shelterwoods, group and single-tree selection; Coppice/short-rotation.
Lecture 2: Continuous Cover Forestry.
ACTIVITY: Designing resilient woodlands and forests Module Review  
E       TW     CH/TW
13 23 Apr 2024 REVISION WEEK [No class]
Assignment 2 (Essay) Deadline: Tues April 23rd (13:00)

Woodland Establishment Project 2024 | Oatridge College

The site for the woodland establishment project is part of the Oatridge College Farm. There are three enclosed pastures. The site is undulating and rises from east to west; the lowest point is 143 m asl in the north-east corner and the highest point is 197 m asl in the south-west corner. To the north is a prominent geological outcrop called Binny Crag (222 m). The fields are surrounded on three sides by existing mature woodland. The site provides an opportunity to create a large block that delivers a wide range of ecosystem services.

Fields at Oatridge College for the Woodland Establishment Project 2024. Image: Google Earth Pro.

Woodland Establishment Image Gallery | Oatridge College

The images below were taken during a visit to the site for the 2023-2024 Woodland Establishment Project. The images were taken during a pre-planning field visit on 07 February 2024. They show general views of the site, surrounding woodland and physiographic features, and details of the soil condition.

Field Trip | 13 02 2024

Teaching Team

  • Ted Wilson (TW) (Coordinator/Edinburgh)
  • Colin Hardacre (CH) (Aberdeen) (SRUC)
  • Stephen Burchett (SB) (Barony) (SRUC)
  • Ignacio Sepulveda (IS) (SRUC)
  • John Holland (JH) (SRUC)
  • Rochelle Kennedy (SRUC) and Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor (EF-M) (University of Stirling)
  • Andrew Clark (AC) and Paul Orsi (PO) (Sylva Foundation)

Glossary of UK Forestry Terms

Woodland Creation


  • Confor – Confederation of Forest
    Confor is a membership organisation that promotes sustainable forestry and wood-using businesses.
  • Forest
    Forest Research is Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree-related research. Forest Research is internationally renowned for providing evidence and scientific services to support sustainable forestry.
  • Government Agencies
    Forestry is a devolved responsibility of governments across the United Kingdom. In England and Scotland there is an organisational division between regulatory and management functions, while in Wales and Northern Ireland a single agency is responsible for both regulatory and management functions.
    • England
    • Wales
      • Natural Resources
        The Welsh Government agency responsible for forestry policy, support and regulations, and for managing public forests and land in Wales.
    • Scotland
      • Scottish
        Scottish Forestry is the Scottish Government agency responsible for forestry policy, support and regulations.
      • Forestry and Land
        The Scottish Government agency responsible for managing Scotland’s national (public) forests and land.
    • Northern Ireland
      • Forest
        The Northern Irish Government agency responsible for forestry policy, support and regulations, and for managing public forests and land in Northern Ireland.
  • Institute of Chartered
    The Institute of Chartered Foresters is the Royal Chartered body for foresters and arboriculturists in the UK. It is the only UK body to offer the Chartered Forester and Chartered Arboriculturist titles. The Institute works to foster a greater public awareness and understanding of forestry and arboriculture in order to serve a variety of commercial, recreational, environmental and scientific interests.
  • UKFS – UK Forestry
    This guidance sets out the UK governments’ approach to sustainable forestry, including standards and requirements, regulations and monitoring, and reporting.
  • UKWAS – UK Woodland Assurance Standard
    The UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) is an independent certification standard for verifying sustainable woodland management in the UK that is used for both Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certification.
  • Woodland
    The Woodland Trust is the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity. The Trust’s vision is a world where woods and trees thrive for people and nature.


  • Agate, E. (editor). 2002. Woodlands, a practical handbook. BTCV Enterprises, 205 pp.
  • Forestry Commission. 2021. A guide to planning new woodland in England. Forestry Commission, Bristol. 76 pp.
  • Forestry Commission Scotland. 2017. Woodland creation – application guidance. Forestry Commission Scotland, Edinburgh. 29 pp.
  • Harmer, R., and Howe, J. 2003. The silviculture and management of coppice woodlands. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.
  • Hart, C. E. 2022. Practical forestry for the agent and surveyor, 4th edition. The History Press, Cheltenham.
  • Hart, C. E. 1995. Alternative silvicultural systems to clear cutting in Britain: a review. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.
  • Hibberd, B. G. (editor). 1988. Farm woodland practice. Forestry Commission Handbook 3. HMSO, London. 106 pp.
  • Hibberd, B. G. (editor). 1991. Forestry practice, 11th edition. Forestry Commission Handbook 6. HMSO, London. 239 pp.
  • Mackie, E., and Matthews, R. 2008. Timber measurement. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.
  • Matthews, R. W., and Mackie, E .D. 2006. Forest mensuration: a handbook for practitioners. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.
  • Peterken, G. F. 1993. Woodland conservation and management. Chapman & Hall.
  • Starr, C. 2013. Woodland management: a practical guide. Crowood Press, Ramsbury, Wiltshire. 192 pp.

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