Forest Direct Ltd

Forest Certification Scheme

Forest Certification Scheme

Forest Direct Ltd is pleased to offer select clients the opportunity to have their forests and forest products certified according to the UK Woodland Assurance Standards (UKWAS).

Certification is normally reserved for large forest owners (>100ha) but we are working closely with the UK Forest Certification Group (UKFCG) and the Soil Association to be able to offer small woodland owners access to forest certification through a bespoke arrangement as the Forest Direct Ltd Resource Manager Unit.

Forest Direct already works with UKFCG because they are an Independent FSC® (FSC® C112410) & PEFC (PEFC/16-40-2131) Certified Forestry Group Scheme offering certification to forest owners throughout the United Kingdom. Launched in 2012, UKFCG has over 170 group members with a certified forest area of over 80,000ha and group annual timber sales approaching three quarters of a million tonnes.

What is Certification?

Certification is independent verification that your woodlands are being managed sustainably according to a set of internationally recognised standards. This verification enables the timber from your forest to carry an FSC® & PEFC (PEFC/16-40-2131) stamp or label when it is cut or made into the final product.

Why is Certification important?

Most large sawmills and timber processors use 70% certified timber and 30% uncertified timber. Because of Storm Arwen and the other winter storms, Scotland currently has an oversupply of windblown and uncertified timber. This means that there is heavy competition to get this timber into the 30% allowance. We expect uncertified timber to be very difficult to sell and logs risk being left on roadside for a long time.

On the other hand, certified timber (particularly Spruce) is always in demand and it is much easier to sell. Generally, certified wood is delivered to the processors more quickly because the allowance is much greater. In addition, because of the supply and demand of certified logs, most processors pay less for uncertified logs. This difference is important as there are additional costs involved in certifying your woodlands but these should be offset by the increased value of your certified timber products.

Therefore, with certification, you should be able to sell your timber more easily, more quickly and for more money.


​Summary of certification requirements:
To meet FSC® & PEFC (PEFC/16-40-2131) certification requirements you must be able to comply with UKWAS and have documents and practices that confirm:
1. Legal Compliance and UKWAS conformance
2. Management Planning documents fulfil certification requirements
3. Woodland Operations comply with forestry best practice
4. Natural, historical and cultural environment features are identified and protected
5. People, communities and workers are respected and protected

The full UKWAS Standard can be found here.

Summary of the FDL scheme requirements:
1. A signed management agreement between FDL and the forest owner for each forest confirming the management roles and responsibilities of FDL including a minimum three-year commitment to the management agreement, commitment to comply with UKWAS certification requirements and UKFCG Group Rules.
2. A management plan with compartment details and maps. For any management plans that have not already been subject to a scoping exercise, a concept map and a stakeholder list for community consultation will be required.
3. An Annual Activity Report will be required for each forest along with an annual summary of statistics for each year to 31st March.
4. UKFCG will carry out an entry audit while the 30-day stakeholder consultation is underway. The audit will assess compliance with UKWAS requirements by review of all management plans and other documents and possibly a site visit accompanied by FDL.
5. UKFCG will undertake an Annual surveillance audit accompanied by FDL.
6. The FDL scheme requires a minimum number of members to remain economically sustainable level.
7. If the number drops below this level, then the FDL RMU fees may rise to cover the UKFCG membership.
8. If it is necessary to withdraw certification, then sufficient notice will be given to you to
avoid the risk of disruption to any planned sales of certified wood products; and there will be an offer to become certified as an individual member direct with UKFCG.

To find out more, please get in touch