There are situations in which a forest area as a whole may be considered to comply with FSC standards although there are specific areas of the forest in which all of the requirements are not met for reasons beyond the control of the managers. Examples include: Windfarm developments, Wayleave construction, Quarry development and Mineral extractions.

There are occasions when it is acceptable to exclude or ‘excise’ specific areas from the scope of certification without the necessary loss of an FSC certificate for the remaining area.

When proposals to excise areas are being considered, UKFCG should be notified immediately.

This is essential to ensure that we can comply with the detailed requirements of 

FSC-POL-20-003 (2004) The excision of areas from the scope of certification

There are some ambiguities in the requirements and UKFCG understands that some aspects of the Policy may be subject to review, however, for now this is the Policy we must comply with.  

UKFCG will guide you through the process of excision and ensure that all documentary requirements are in place.  We are required to consult with Soil Association at an early stage in the process which may include formal stakeholder consultation in respect of the proposed excision.

There are strict rules in respect of maximum percentage of the forest, and timber sales from areas that are proposed for excision. 



The international approval / endorsement process for UKWAS 5 being taken forward by FSC UK and PEFC UK is well underway. The detailed assessment of the UKWAS 5 pre-approval draft is being undertaken by the schemes’ international bodies.

The target date for UKWAS 5 was set at 1st April 2023; the fifth anniversary of the effective date for UKWAS 4. however this could not be achieved.  The best estimate is for a revised UKWAS 5 effective date to be in Quarter 3 or Quarter 4 of 2023 and the aim is for both schemes to have completed their processes before UKWAS 5 is launched. 

Meanwhile, UKWAS 4 will remain current until the launch of UKWAS 5. 

As soon as we have clarity on the launch date, UKFCG will provide a Briefing Note to all members providing details of the changes which should be adopted.



During the 2023 Soil Association audit there was considerable scrutiny in respect of forest monitoring records, particularly relating to monitoring intentions that were stated in monitoring plans.  After lengthy discussion and justification, we just managed to avoid a Non-conformity for monitoring that had been defined but not undertaken.

All forest managers are asked to review their forest monitoring plans, ensure that all defined monitoring is undertaken within the indicated timescales and the results are documented.Edit your plans to remove any extraneous intentions that may not be realistic or achievable, whilst making sure that requirements of monitoring defined in UKWAS section 2.15.1 are covered in the plan. Monitoring should be proportionate to the scale and intensity of management of the forest.

Monitoring records are subject of scrutiny during every annual audit conducted by Soil Association.


New legislation to protect against Oak Processionary Moth (OPM)

On 24 May 2023 a new regulation permitting the movement of large oak trees and trade within the Established area and Buffer zone, provided certain biosecurity requirements and movement restrictions are met came into force.

To fund out more and make sure you are meeting the regulations see the GOV.UK page: Managing oak prosessionary Moth in England and watch the video below.

In general, the Forestry Commission will take charge of treating infested trees in the buffer zone and pest free area. You can view these areas on the management zones map 2023 with exclusion zone (PDF, 445 KB, 1 page). These areas have been updated and came into force on 8 March 2023.


Welcome to new members who have recently joined UKFCG

Wester Tullochcurran, Achaveillan, Garabal, Killean and High Tayinloan, Cragganard, Brackla Forest, Blackhills Forest, Strathy, Torwoodlee, Tormore Community Forest, Chattlehope, Mongour, Brown Hill Forest, Whitecleugh, Glenferness Estate, Castlemilk and Corrie Estate