Good Woods for people and nature
Revive Britain's undermanaged woodlands, while creating jobs and new sources of sustainable timber and low-carbon fuels – these are the goals of Good Woods, launched by B&Q UK and the charities BioRegional and the Sylva Foundation. In its first year 220 woodland owners joined the scheme representing more than 10,500 hectares of UK woodland.
Around 47% of woodlands in England are either unmanaged or under-managed. Since many of these woodlands were originally man-made, their ecosystem relies on active woodland management without which they see a decline in biodiversity. Introducing sustainable woodland management can create more jobs in the forestry sector, improve woodland habitats for plants and wildlife and create more places for people to exercise and enjoy the countryside. Improving woodlands also offers the potential to create new sustainable timber supply chains.
Woodland owners joining Good Woods benefit from forestry advice through woodland visits from professional foresters and other tools to help them create a woodland management plan and to communicate with the public. Good Woods has also introduced a new Woodland Star Rating, based on the UK Forestry Standard, to promote greater understanding of good woodland stewardship. A measure for tracking the impact on biodiversity is also being developed.
Over time the plan is that the Good Woods project will bring more British woodland products to market, enabling customers to use home-grown wood in their home improvement projects. Establishing new timber supply chains takes time, but B&Q UK has worked with woodland owners to support this process, including through the launch of a timber producers’ pack that enables woodland owners to assess the timber species, volumes and product potential of their woodlands.