Guidance

myForest is a focused GIS tool allowing forest owners and agents to map, create, and manage forests across Britain.

Having developed an intricate tool balancing the needs of various land managers, a significant amount of detailed and specific guidance has been produced to help you navigate the tool, and work toward your objectives.

On this page, you will find an in-depth repository of all the guidance produced by the myForest team to help you along your journey.

To access the myForest platform and begin mapping, planning, and managing your forest creation and/or management project(s) you will need to create a myForest account. Creating an account is quick and easy with no requirement to create a paid subscription or add your card details.

When creating your myForest account, there are two account types to choose from:

  • A Forest Owner Account - for those who own or manage a single property which contains forested land (or land which they wish to use for forest creation); or
  • A Forest Agent Account - for those who own or manage multiple properties containing forested land (or land which they wish to use for forest creation).

When registering your account with myForest you will be asked to provide your details (Name and Email) and will be required to create a unique password. You can set your communication preferences, and will then be asked to agree to the myForest Terms of Supply.

Once you have created your myForest account, you will receive an account confirmation email (please be sure to check your spam folder).

Once your myForest Agent Account is created, you can access the following in the Clients Overview:

  • Your details (name, email address and company logo)
  • Account plan (including payment details and invoices for paid plans)*
  • Change your password
  • Contact Preferences

Changing your account details is a quick and easy process, and we recommend you keep your details updated.

* If you would like to switch the type of myForest account you currently have (i.e. from a Forest Owner to a Forest Agent, or vice-versa) please contact the myForest team using our help portal.

Once your myForest account is created, you can change the following details.

  • Your details (name, and email address)
  • Your account plan
  • Your account password
  • Your communication preferences

Changing your account details is a quick and easy process, and we recommend you keep your details updated. Depending on the type of myForest account you have, the process for changing your details varies slightly. Please follow the appropriate guidance below.

Please note: If you would like to switch the type of myForest account you currently have (i.e. from a Forest Owner to a Forest Agent, or vice-versa) please contact the myForest team using our help portal.

Having created your myForest Agent Account, you are able to create multiple clients (sites) to create mapping, add data, and manage forest creation and management plans.

As a myForest Agent user, managing your clients (sites) is an integral part of effective account management as you may have multiple sites with differing mapping, data, and plans across several locations.

Creating new clients, and managing existing clients, is easy when using myForest. The Clients Overview is your Agent home page within myForest. It can be used for:

  • Creating a new client (site)
  • Importing a client’s existing myForest data
  • Sharing your mapping, data, and plans with the client directly
  • Querying all client data to find specific site factors

Use the Client Details tab for:

  • Updating client details (property name, client name, and site location)

Both the Clients Overview and the Client Details can be accessed by clicking the person icon in the top-right corner of the app.

myForest is a free-to-use platform enabling landowners and managers to undertake the necessary steps for forest creation and management across Great Britain. Subscribing to a myForest paid plan provides users with access to advanced tools, mapping, and additional functionality to aid their forest creation, management, and planning.

As an environmental charity, your subscription supports the maintenance and continual development of the powerful and effective myForest technology in the long term. We continue to consult with partners and users to ensure our service is reasonable and prudent, and is in line with the delivery of our charitable objects and other public outcomes.

Depending on the account type, the paid plan annual cost will vary. To learn more, please visit the account plans page.

myForest Tutorial - Paid Plans

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn what myForest Paid Plans are, and the benefits they bring to you as a myForest user.

myForest is free-to-use public software. In addition to this, myForest contains paid features which are designed to improve your forest creation and management projects.

In this video you will learn the difference between free and paid features, and how these paid features will improve your mapping, data collection, and planning process. Some paid features enable you to meet the requirements for some Forestry Commission, Scottish Forestry, and Natural Resources Wales mapping and planning standards when applying for grants and other processes.

In myForest you can locate your site quickly and easily using your site address or postcode.

Locating your site is one of the first steps after launching the myForest app. The live mapping view will enable you to easily map your site on the various backgrounds, and start adding detail to your forest creation or management project.

myForest Tutorial - Locating Your Site

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn how to locate your site on the myForest live view mapping using either your site address or site postcode.

In order to begin mapping your forest creation or management project, you will first need to locate your site on the live view mapping. Once you have added mapping to your account or client, myForest will automatically load to your site in subsequent sessions.

You are able to locate your site across Britain using either a site address, or a site postcode.

You are also able to manually locate your site using the zoom and pan tools.

Mapping Backgrounds serve as a drawing template or background image. All mapping backgrounds are georeferenced ensuring your mapping (points, lines, and polygons) are accurately represented should you wish to download and use your mapping elsewhere. myForest offers a choice of several backgrounds (see table below).

Mapping Backgrounds available in myForest to users with free plans or paid plans.
Backgrounds Free Users Paid Plan Users
Google Roads
Google Roads & Terrain
Google Satellite
Google Satellite & Roads
OpenStreetMap Streets
OpenStreetMap Outdoors
OS Open Zoomstack
OS Outdoor
OS Road
OS Light
myForest Tutorial - Mapping Backgrounds

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn about the different backgrounds and how to use them.

Mapping backgrounds are an essential part of all Forestry Commission, Scottish Forestry, and Natural Resources Wales compliant forest creation and management plans. Additionally, specific mapping backgrounds are required for forest creation and management grants.

Understanding how to use mapping backgrounds in myForest is key. This tutorial will cover all the key components of utilising mapping backgrounds within the software whether you have a free or paid myForest plan.


"Google Earth Engine is a cloud-based geospatial analysis platform that enables users to visualize and analyze satellite images of our planet. Scientists and non-profits use Earth Engine for remote sensing research, predicting disease outbreaks, natural resource management, and more."


"OpenStreetMap is a map of the world, created by people like you and free to use under an open licence. OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world. OpenStreetMap is open data: you are free to use it for any purpose as long as you credit OpenStreetMap and its contributors."


"We use our valuable data and expertise, built on over 225 years of experience, to contribute to the future success of Britain and other nations. We continually refine our data to present an accurate digital view, delivering to business and the public sector. We facilitate important decisions that will go onto enhance the quality of life of future generations."

Data layers show geographical data presented in an easy to access, GIS friendly, format. myForest offers a huge range of authoritative data layers, allowing you to assess potential opportunities and constraints within your site, or adjacent to your site in the wider landscape.

Forest creation and management plans require detailed opportunities/constraints desk and field analysis to ensure interventions do not adversely impact the site or wider landscape. Furthermore, there may be several opportunities within, or adjacent to your site which are of importance or interest.

myForest offers data layers which cover Great Britain, as well as offering layers specific to England, Scotland, and Wales. These layers vary in uses from those which may be specific to forest creation or management, to generic layers useful in all cases.

All data layers offered in myForest are provided with additional guidance text, allowing you to fully understand each layer and its intended use. For all statutory documentation (templates, grants, etc) it is advised you use additional opportunities and constraints mapping software (for example Defra MAGIC, or Land Information Search). See below for further information.

myForest Tutorial - Data Layers

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn about data layers and how to use them.

Data layers are an essential aspect of all major forest creation and management templates and grants required across Great Britain. myForest offers a large array of data layers ranging from Great Britain wide, to England, Scotland, or Wales specific layers relevant to individual grants or processes.

All data layers are visible on the live view mapping, or can be included in pdf downloadable maps which can be used as part of project planning and applications.

It is advised to check data layer accuracy across multiple provider sites (MAGIC, Land Information Search, Map Viewer, and DataMapWales).

The MAGIC website provides authoritative geographic information about the natural environment from across government. The information covers rural, urban, coastal and marine environments across Great Britain. It is presented in an interactive map which can be explored using various mapping tools that are included.

The Forestry Commission Land Information Search allows you to view data layers for England and run searches to see how they interact with areas of land you have an interest in. You are able to draw features, measure boundaries and distances and print the maps you have created.

Scottish Forestry Land Information Search - The Land Information Search (LIS) is a map based tool that allows you to search for data relating to an area of land or a feature that you have identified. Run a search in order to highlight the presence of a range of environmental features and designations such as Scheduled Monuments, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Native Woodland that may fall within your area of interest and within a 500m buffer zone.

Scottish Forestry Map Viewer - Map Viewer allows you to explore and discover information about Scotland’s woodlands and forests. Within the application, you can select from many different map layers including: areas benefiting from Forestry Grant Scheme funding; Forestry Grant Scheme target and eligibility areas; felling permission; forest plans; Legacy Grant Scheme approvals.

DataMapWales provides geographic information and associated services. Like most Geographic Information Systems, DataMapWales allows you to search for the information you might be interested in, for a dataset to be displayed on top of a base-map, and the features of interest to be examined, measured and analysed.

During the forest creation and management process you may wish to import compartment, sub-compartment, and/or feature mapping which you have either created using an alternative software, or been provided with by a third party.

You are able to import multiple file types directly into myForest using the import tool, which is found in the control bar. You can import Shapefiles, KML and KMZ, or GeoJSON files with varying projection types quickly and easily.

There are several common issues users encounter when trying to import mapping into myForest, including:

  • Your file contains multi-polygons;
  • Your file has no projection type set; or
  • Your file contains invalid geometries

Converting multi-polygons to single polygons (shapefiles only):
myForest is not able to import multipolygons (at this stage) and as a result, users uploading shapefiles containing multipolygons may will encounter the issue where some items from within a shapefile will become visible when imported, however other aspects which would be expected do not become visible. To import mapping into myForest, you will need to provide shapefiles which contain single polygons only. For guidance on converting multi-polygons to single polygons, please refer to guidance produced by the software provider.

Single and multi-polygons are a systematic way for information to be stored within a shapefile which can then be exported and transferred. An illustration of single vs multi-polygons can be seen below.

Single Part Polygons Multi Part Polygons

Setting a file projection:
How to set a file projection will vary depending on the software used to generate your compartment, sub-compartment, or feature mapping. For guidance on setting a file projection, please refer to guidance produced by the software provider. For more information on file projections please find more information below.

Both projections EPSG:4326 and EPSG:3857 use the WGS84 reference system (this is a standard approximation model of the Earth's surface. EPSG:4326 coordinates are unprojected, giving you exact locations on the WGS84 spheroid (the latitude/longitude degrees which you may be familiar with). EPSG:3857 coordinates are projected onto a flat plane. This projection type is the standard used by web maps because the projection works fairly evenly across the globe. EPSG:27700 is the OS projection. It gives a nice consistent view of the UK but it is not advisable to use this projection outside the UK.

Files containing invalid geometries:
Invalid geometries are the most complex issue users may encounter. If your file contains invalid geometries please get in touch with the myForest team via our helpdesk.

myForest Tutorial - Import Mapping

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn what the Import tool is, how to use it and how to fix the most common issues encountered by users when importing their files to myForest.

If you have used another GIS program to map compartments sub-compartments or features you are able to import them directly into myForest.

You can import your mapping in KML, KMZ, GeoJSON and ESRI shapefile formats.

RPA Land Parcels ("Land Parcels") are digitised field boundaries for all land that is registered with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) in England.

Land parcels are essential to access government funding for woodland creation and management. They also make a great starting point for mapping in myForest, ensuring consistency and accuracy.

The process of adding Land Parcels into myForest is quick and easy. All that is needed is the Single Business Identifier (SBI) for the property.

There are two levels of Land Parcel functionality in myForest:

Users with Free Plans can import Land Parcels as a data layer, but cannot interact further with them.

Paid Plan users can convert Land Parcels into Mapping Components, allowing full flexibility and inclusion in output maps.

  1. Importing Land Parcels (Free and Paid Plans)
    1. In the myForest app, open the Tools drop-down menu and select Import Land Parcels.
    2. In the Import pop-up, enter your SBI, then click on Import Land Parcels. The land parcels will appear as polygons in the map view, and the SBI will appear in the menu bar.
    3. Click on the three dots to the right of the SBI for more options.
  2. Converting to Mapping Components (Paid Plans only)
    1. Click on the three dots to the right of the RPA Land Parcels menu bar, then select Convert Parcels.
    2. In the Convert pop-up, select one of the three options: Compartments, Sub-compartments or Features. The choice will depend on the use they will be put to. For initial mapping, select Sub-compartments.
    3. Choose which Land Parcels to convert.
    4. Click on Convert.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is the only accredited paying agency in England, making payments to farmers, traders and land owners. Along with paying subsidies the RPA have a number of other roles including the Rural Land Register (RLR) which holds around 2.4 million registered land parcels digitally, and sends land maps to landowners in England.

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/rural-payments-agency

Having mapped your compartments, sub-compartments, and/or features in myForest you may wish to export this mapping for varying reasons. Exporting your mapping is a quick and easy process, with myForest allowing you to export mapping in multiple file types using several projection types.

In providing three different file formats for exporting, we have created a versatile tool, which can function with other programs. Based upon where you intend to use the file would influence the format you might export it as. Another key difference is that GeoJSON and KML both export as a single file, whereas Shapefiles are several files which you have to zip.

You are able to export using the following file formats:

  • Shapefiles;
  • KML; or
  • GeoJSON

Both projections EPSG:4326 and EPSG:3857 use the WGS84 reference system (this is a standard approximation model of the Earth's surface. EPSG:4326 coordinates are unprojected, giving you exact locations on the WGS84 spheroid (the latitude/longitude degrees which you may be familiar with). EPSG:3857 coordinates are projected onto a flat plane. This projection type is the standard used by web maps because the projection works fairly evenly across the globe. EPSG:27700 is the OS projection. It gives a nice consistent view of the UK but it is not advisable to use this projection outside the UK.

You are able to export using the following projection types:

  • EPSG:4326 - WGS84 unprojected;
  • EPSG:3857 - web mercator; or
  • EPSG:27700 - British National Grid

Export use:
Depending on the reason for exporting your compartments, sub-compartments, and features, we may recommend a specific file format and projection type:

Export Use Recommended File Format Recommended Projection Type
Nonspecific Export GeoJSON EPSG:4326 - WGS84 unprojected
For use in ESRI
or ArcGIS
ShapeFile EPSG:4326 - WGS84 unprojected, or
EPSG:3857 - web mercator
Google Earth KML EPSG:4326 - WGS84 unprojected
myForest Tutorial - Exporting Mapping

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn how to export mapping you create in myForest into multiple file formats and project types based on your intended further use.

Having created, imported, and edited your site, compartment, sub-compartment, and feature mapping using myForest, you may wish (or need) to export this mapping for multiple reasons.

Exporting your mapping is a quick and easy process. myForest allows you to export your mapping into multiple file formats with varying projection types based on your intended use. In this video you will learn how to export your mapping, and learn about the best format and projection to use based on your next steps.

As you map compartments, sub-compartments, and features in myForest you may find that the live view mapping becomes increasingly complex. The show / hide tool allows you to turn compartment, sub-compartment, feature, and individual item mapping either on or off, changing which items are visible on your live view mapping and as a result allowing you to carry out your forest creation and management planning in a more effective manner.

myForest Tutorial - The Show / Hide Tool

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn about the show/hide mapping tool, and how to use it.

With most forest creation and management projects it is likely you will have multiple mapping components comprised of compartments, sub-compartments, and features which will all be visible on the live view mapping.

At times, for example when drawing additional mapping, you may wish to show or hide specific items in order to provide greater levels of clarity when doing specific tasks. Using the show / hide tool, you are able to gain this clarity by having only the items you desire visible at one time. In this tutorial, you will learn how to show / hide tool to maximise your productivity.

As you map compartments, sub-compartments, and features in myForest you may find that the live view mapping becomes increasingly complex. When you create and map new items you will be required to provide an item name (when naming compartments you will be provided with the option to also select a number; when naming sub-compartments you will be provided with the option to also select a letter - this follows standard forestry labelling procedures).

Having created and mapped a new item, you will find that on the live view mapping you will have your mapped items visible alongside an item label containing your desired title (and number/letter). You are able to move these labels to a desired location, along with the ability to to change the arrow direction. Furthermore, you are able to show or hide all labels from view in the live view mapping.

myForest Tutorial - The Label Tool

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn about labels and how they can best be used.

Having mapped, or imported, your site compartments, sub-compartments, and features you will notice that each of these items are automatically labelled on the live view mapping.

Depending on the chosen name, number (for compartments), and letter (for sub-compartments) a label will appear on the live view mapping highlighting the name and location of the mapped item.

In this video you will learn how to move individual labels, and how to show or hide all, and individual, labels for compartments, sub-compartments, and features

In myForest all compartments, sub-compartments, and features which you have mapped will have specific geometries calculated and updated automatically. The geometries calculated include length (m), perimeter (m), and area (ha). There may, however, be instances where you do not wish to map an item in order to measure the distance between two points.

The measure tool allows you to quickly and accurately measure the distance between two specific points located on your live view mapping, through a sequence of consecutive clicks.

The measure tool is located in the tools section of the control bar.

myForest Tutorial - The Measure Tool

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn about the measure tool and how it is used.

In myForest all compartments, sub-compartments, and features have specific geometries calculated and updated automatically as you carry out the mapping, and map-editing process. The geometries include length (m), perimeter (m), and area (ha). There may, however, be instances where you do not wish to map an item in order to measure the distance between two points.

The measure tool allows you to quickly and accurately measure the distance between two specific points, through a sequence of consecutive clicks. In this video, you will learn how to use the measure tool in a simple and effective manner.

Understanding how and when to use the snapping tool is essential to create detailed and accurate plans in myForest.

The snapping tool allows you to reduce mapping error through overlaps and gaps between mapped items. Snapping also enables you to map quickly, building upon your previously mapped items; this includes snapping to compartments, sub-compartments, features, RPA Land Parcels, buffers, and cut-outs. Within myForest you are able to snap to corners or edges, while also being able to adjust the level of sensitivity from 5 to 30m.

myForest Tutorial - The Snapping Tool

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn about the snapping tool and how to use it when mapping compartments, sub-compartments, and features.

As you add more detailed mapping to your forest creation or management plan (including buffers and cut-outs), accuracy will be essential to ensuring all plans are consistent and the geometry measurements calculated automatically in myForest are correct.

The snapping tool allows you to reduce mapping error through overlaps and gaps between mapped items. Snapping also enables you to map quickly, building upon your previously mapped items. In this video you will learn how to use the snapping tool and the various snapping options offered within myForest.

Having mapped compartments, sub-compartments, and polygon features within myForest, you may wish to remove a certain interior area from an item. This could be for several reasons (for example, to remove an area which will not be planted during a creation project).

Creating a cut-out is a quick and easy process, with the relative item geometry being automatically updated based upon the new properties, e.g. compartment area (ha).

Being able to use cut-outs effectively is a key skill when creating effective forest creation and management plans within myForest where the automated calculations are required to be detailed and accurate.

myForest Tutorial - The Cut-Out Tool

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn about the cut-out tool, and how best to use it.

Having mapped compartments, sub-compartments, and polygon features within myForest, you may wish to remove a certain interior area from an item. This could be for several reasons (for example, to remove an area which will not be planted during a creation project).

Creating a cut-out is a quick and easy process, with the relative item geometry being automatically updated based upon the new properties, e.g. compartment area (ha).

Having mapped your compartments, sub-compartments, and features in myForest you may wish to add a set distance buffer to either the interior or exterior of a mapped item.

In myForest you are able to add a buffer to the interior or exterior of any compartment, sub-compartment, or feature to a defined set distance. This enables you to quickly create accurate buffer measurements which may be used in the forest creation or management process (for example risk mitigation processes surrounding public footpaths). This buffer can be used in multiple ways depending on your intended output.

myForest Tutorial - The Buffer Tool

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn about the buffer tool, and how best it is used.

Having mapped your compartments, sub-compartments, and features in myForest you may wish to add a set distance buffer to either the interior or exterior of a mapped item.

In myForest you are able to add a buffer to the interior or exterior of any compartment, sub-compartment, or feature to a defined set distance. This enables you to quickly create accurate buffer measurements which may be used in the forest creation or management process (for example risk mitigation processes surrounding public footpaths). This buffer can be used in multiple ways depending on your intended output.

Having created a forest creation and/or management plan using any of the templates freely available in the myForest app, you may wish to keep an archived record of each version of the document throughout the project lifespan. Archived plans can be marked as approved by the relevant forest authority adding greater clarity to the document status.

Document version control is an integral part of carrying out effective project management and is highly advised throughout the forest creation and management process. The Archive tool allows you to store an un-editable copy of each version which is clearly dated and stored for easy accessibility and downloading whenever required.

myForest Tutorial - The Archive Tool

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn about the archive tool and how best it can be used.

Having created a forest creation and/or management plan using any of the templates freely available in the myForest app, you may wish to keep an archived record of each version of the document throughout the project lifespan. Archived plans can be marked as approved by the relevant forest authority adding greater clarity to the document status.

Document version control is an integral part of carrying out effective project management and is highly advised throughout the forest creation and management process. The Archive tool allows you to store an un-editable copy of each version which is clearly dated and stored for easy accessibility and downloading whenever required.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

When creating either a forest creation or management plan it is vital to outline the Forest Management Unit (FMU). The FMU is the area subject to a forest management plan or proposal. This area is selected by the owner and/or manager and will be determined by the nature of the forest, the proposed operations and both creation and management objectives. Extensive FMUs have the advantage of allowing a strategic approach to be taken in achieving UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) Requirements, both in terms of the area covered and the timescale.

With a Forest Management Unit outlining the creation or management area (this typically includes the site's entirety) the first step you need to take is outlining compartment and sub-compartment areas. Creating both compartments and sub-compartments will enable you to begin collecting and adding detailed data which can aid your planning process while also ensuring you meet all requirements of the appropriate forest authority.

Compartments are overarching functional units within an outlined FMU, this may be a clearly defined forest (or forest creation areas) within a site, or it may be sections of a forest up to ‘hard’ features (for example a river boundary, a Public Right of Way, or an existing access road). Please note, for smaller forests (or creation areas) you may only require a single compartment.

The standard forestry convention dictates that compartments should be provided with a number (you may also include a compartment name), and sub-compartments should be provided with a letter (you may also include a sub-compartment name). Through this systematic approach, when producing maps or plans which are submitted to any stakeholder, the compartments, sub-compartments, and any plans associated with that area are clear and easy to understand.

In this guidance you will learn:

  • How to create a new compartment in myForest;
  • How to map and edit your compartment boundaries in myForest; and
  • How to add or edit compartment data in myForest.

The first step in developing a compartment design is creating a new compartment (eventually leading to the creation of, potentially, multiple compartments). Creating a new compartment is a quick and easy process. For each new compartment you create, you will be required to provide either a compartment name, or a compartment number (please be aware you can create a compartment with both a name and number).

myForest Tutorial - Creating a New Compartment

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn how to create a new compartment within myForest.

Compartments are overarching functional units within an outlined FMU, this may be a clearly defined forest (or forest creation areas) within a site, or it may be sections of a forest up to ‘hard’ features (for example a river boundary, a Public Right of Way, or an existing access road). Please note, for smaller forests (or creation areas) you may only require a single compartment.

In myForest you can create several compartments to begin your forest creation and management planning process.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

The second step in developing a compartment design is mapping your compartment. Mapping a compartment is a quick and easy process. Please note that should you make a mistake while mapping your compartment, or should you wish to change the design of your compartment (as forest creation and management is an iterative process), you are able to edit a compartment mapping at any point.



myForest Tutorial - Compartment Mapping

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn how to map your compartment.

Within myForest you can map your compartment quickly and easily providing a great foundation for adding several sub-compartments and features as you progress.

In this tutorial you will learn how to map your compartment from scratch, and then also edit your compartment should you wish.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

Compartments hold no forest creation or management data in themselves, rather they provide the framework for sub-compartments to be created. When developing your compartment design, you may wish to add or edit the compartment name or number. Adding or editing this compartment data is a quick and easy process.

myForest Tutorial - Compartment Data

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn how to add and edit compartment data.

This is a simple process allowing you to allocate unique numbers to, and, if required, name your compartments

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

When creating either a forest creation or management plan it is vital to outline the Forest Management Unit (FMU). The FMU is the area subject to a forest management plan or proposal. This area is selected by the owner and/or manager and will be determined by the nature of the forest, the proposed operations and both creation and management objectives. Extensive FMUs have the advantage of allowing a strategic approach to be taken in achieving UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) Requirements, both in terms of the area covered and the timescale.

With a Forest Management Unit outlining the creation or management area (this typically includes the site's entirety) the first step you need to take is outlining compartment and sub-compartment areas. Creating both compartments and sub-compartments will enable you to begin collecting and adding detailed data which can aid your planning process while also ensuring you meet all requirements of the appropriate forest authority.

Sub-compartments are individual creation and / or management areas outlined within the wider compartment and FMU.

How you divide your compartment(s) into smaller, more manageable sub-compartments may vary depending on the forest size, location, and plan. How you design your sub-compartment layout is entirely up to you, however using ‘hard’ features (for example a river boundary, a Public Right of Way, or an existing access road), may act as natural breaks in your overall compartment making management easier. Please note, for smaller forests (or creation areas) you may only require a single compartment.

The standard forestry convention dictates that compartments should be provided with a number (you may also include a compartment name), and sub-compartments should be provided with a letter (you may also include a sub-compartment name). Through this systematic approach, when producing maps or plans which are submitted to any stakeholder, the compartments, sub-compartments, and any plans associated with that area are clear and easy to understand.

In this guidance you will learn:

  • How to create a new sub-compartment in myForest;
  • How to map and edit your sub-compartment boundaries;
  • How to add or edit sub-compartment general data;
  • How to add or edit sub-compartment creation data; and
  • How to add or edit sub-compartment management data.

The first step in developing a sub-compartment design is creating a new sub-compartment (eventually leading to the creation of, potentially, multiple sub-compartments). For each new sub-compartment you create, you will be required to provide either a sub-compartment name, or a sub-compartment letter (please be aware you can create a sub-compartment with both a name and letter).

myForest Tutorial - Creating a New Sub-Compartment

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn how to create a new sub-compartment within myForest.

How you divide your compartment(s) into smaller, more manageable sub-compartments may vary depending on the forest size, location, and plan. How you design your sub-compartment layout is entirely up to you, however using ‘hard’ features (for example a river boundary, a Public Right of Way, or an existing access road), may act as natural breaks in your overall compartment making management easier. Please note, for smaller forests (or creation areas) you may only require a single compartment.

In myForest you can create several sub-compartments to begin your forest creation and management planning process.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

The second step in developing a sub-compartment design is mapping your sub-compartment. Mapping a sub-compartment is a quick and easy process. Please note that should you make a mistake while mapping your sub-compartment, or should you wish to change the design of your sub-compartment (as forest creation and management is an iterative process), you are able to edit a sub-compartment mapping at any point.


myForest Tutorial - Mapping a New Sub-Compartment

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn how to map your sub-compartment.

Within myForest you can map your sub-compartment quickly and easily providing a great outline of the distinct functional units within your overall site.

In this tutorial you will learn how to map your sub-compartment from scratch, and then also edit your sub-compartment should you wish.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

When you create your sub-compartment, you are able to choose whether the sub-compartment is comprised of existing forest (management) or is an area you wish to convert to forest (creation). The data you are able to input varies depending on the type of sub-compartment you create.

Creation sub-compartments allow you to add information including the creation data, species inventory and stocking densities, plant information, and any operations. Many of the calculations associated with creation data you add are automated, meaning as you add information, much of the pain is taken from calculating tree numbers etc, and then updating those figures should your plans change.


myForest Tutorial - Sub-Compartment Creation Data

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn how to add and edit sub-compartment creation data.

You are able to add a huge range of data to your sub-compartments including general, creation, and management data. In this video you will learn what creation data can be added within myForest, how it relates to creation plans, and how to add it.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

Management sub-compartments allow you to add information including the species inventory and stocking densities, plant information, and any operations.


myForest Tutorial - Sub-Compartment Management Data

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn how to add and edit sub-compartment management data.

You are able to add a huge range of data to your sub-compartments including general, creation, and management data. In this video you will learn what management data can be added within myForest, how it relates to management plans, and how to add it.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

Alongside mapping your compartments and sub-compartments, you may have several site features which require mapping to be included in your site plans. Depending on the type of features found within your site, you can create point, linear, and polygon features to make each is mapped accurately. Features may include site access points, public footpaths and racks, and natural features such as ponds, badger setts and more.

In this guidance you will learn:

  • How to create a feature in myForest;
  • How to map and edit your point, linear, and polygon features; and
  • How to add or edit feature data.

Features are an important part of any forest creation or management plan, ensuring each feature is mapped accurately is vital to developing an effective maps and plans which are appropriate for any range of desired activities.

The first step to adding your site features to myForest is creating a new feature. As you add multiple features you are able to provide a feature name and type. Feature types include point, linear, and polygon features. Each feature type can be used in multiple ways depending on your situation. Please note, if you use a gps device to collect feature data on site, you are able to import that data via the import tool - for more information on the import tool, please refer to that section in the guidance page.

Creating a Feature

myForest Tutorial - Creating a new Feature

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn what the how to create a new point, linear, or polygon feature in myForest.

You may wish to map multiple, varying, site features as part of your routine management operations or for specific forest creation and/or management documents.

Within myForest you can accurately map every site feature regardless of its shape, size, or location. You are also able to import features should you have collected data while on site with a gps tool.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

Mapping a Feature

After creating a new feature you will need to map it. Depending on the type of feature you have created the way in which you can do this may vary however they all follow the same core principles. Should you wish to edit your mapping, you can move individual point features or edit linear and polygon boundaries with ease.



Mapping a Linear Feature



Mapping a Polygon Feature


myForest Tutorial - Mapping a Point Feature

In this myForest Tutorial, you will learn about examples of types of point features and how to create and work with them.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

myForest Tutorial - Mapping a Linear Feature

In this myForest Tutorial, you will learn about examples of types of linear features and how to create and work with them..

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

myForest Tutorial - Mapping a Polygon Feature

In this myForest Tutorial, you will learn about examples of types of polygon features and how to create and work with them.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

Adding Notes

Depending on the type of feature created within myForest, you may wish to add notes containing information which may be useful for both creation and management of your site. Adding and editing notes and to features is quick and easy in myForest and can be done at any time.


Having mapped your compartments, sub-compartments, and features you may wish to create a downloadable PDF map. Within myForest you are able to create several maps which can be downloaded easily at any time.

When creating a pdf map within myForest all key components such as scale, north arrow, copyright requirements, and your company logo (if uploaded), will be added automatically. Ensuring that your map meets all the minimum requirements when submitting to your relevant authority.

Please note, you will be required to develop several maps as part of any forest creation and/or management grant or plan. Depending upon the end-use of each map, there may be differing requirements for map layout and content. Please refer to specific guidance for each map you may be required to make.

myForest Tutorial - Creating PDF Map Outputs

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn how to create and construct a downloadable pdf map.

Having mapped your compartments, sub-compartments, and features you may wish to create a downloadable PDF map. Within myForest you are able to create several maps which can be downloaded easily at any time.

When creating a pdf map within myForest all key components such as scale, north arrow, copyright requirements, and your company logo (if uploaded) will be added automatically. Ensuring that your map meets all the minimum requirements when submitting to your relevant authority.

Please note, you will be required to develop several maps as part of any forest creation and/or management grant or plan. Depending upon the end-use of each map, there may be differing requirements for map layout and content. Please refer to specific guidance for each map you may be required to make.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

As you work through the forest creation and / or management process, you may require specific help to understand certain aspects. Through the myForest app, you will find help icons providing detailed and specific information to help you get the most from the platform while also highlighting useful external resources where appropriate.


Through the myForest app, help and guidance is clearly displayed by the blue help icons. Clicking on the help icons will generate pop-ups providing guidance text and links.


Click the help icon to reveal specific and detailed information:


The myForest Assessor is a woodland condition self-assessment tool . Analysing your woodland stewardship methodically is a great way to improve your management practices in accordance with the UKFS. The Assessor will provide you with a detailed report and certificate based on the answers you provide to 30 questions.

Each question is matched to ecosystem services (e.g. carbon storage, habitat provision, flood alleviation, products and other public benefits) that each of the specified management actions are deemed to enhance.

There are five levels from entry through to gold, as your score improves, you will move through these levels and eventually become Grown in Britain (GiB) audit ready.

Opening the Assessor tool you are able to create a new assessment and get started. You can save your progress and come back to it at any time. You are able to create multiple date-logged assessments as you progress through your woodland management journey. Submitting your self-assessment and storing it within the myForest database enables you to download an assessment report and certificate. This report and certificate is the vital piece of information when you're looking at becoming GiB Certified.

The Assessor report breaks all key UKFS components apart, listing your answers and areas where you can improve, and providing information on how to do that with potential next steps for you to take. The Woodland Assessor certificate presents the woodland you have assessed and the level you reached.


The Assessor tool is a great way to learn more about the UK Forestry Standard, and how best to apply those principles when creating, or reviewing, your management plan. With help and guidance found throughout, the Assessor tool provides additional information and resources in regard to specific management practices aiding you through your journey.


myForest Tutorial - The Assessor Tool

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn what the Assessor tool is, and how to use it.

The myForest Assessor tool is a woodland condition self-assessment tool. Analysing your woodland stewardship methodically is a great way to improve your management practices in accordance with the UKFS. The Assessor will provide you with a detailed report and certificate based on the answers you provide to 30 questions.

There are five levels from entry through to gold, as your score improves, you will move through these levels and eventually become Grown in Britain (GiB) audit ready.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) is the reference standard for sustainable forest management across the UK, and applies to all woodland, regardless of who owns or manages it. The standard ensures that international agreements and conventions on areas such as sustainable forest management, climate change, biodiversity and the protection of water resources are applied in the UK.


Grown in Britain is the only certification scheme that provides assurance of homegrown timber and timber products from the UK.

Only the Grown in Britain logo guarantees timber has been grown sustainably and legally in the UK in accordance with the UK Government Timber Procurement Policy and the UK Forestry Standard.

Prior to creating a Scottish Forestry compliant woodland creation plan you may be required to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This requirement varies depending on the size of your proposal and any sensitivities which your site may have.

The EIA Quiz is a tool developed in collaboration with Scottish Forestry to support myForest users to quickly determine whether they are required to complete an EIA prior to submitting their woodland creation operational plan, and should one be required, the next steps they must take. The quiz contains all the necessary support and guidance to ensure users feel confident in their next steps and how to complete them. In total the quiz takes no longer than five minutes, should all the information required be readily available.

myForest Tutorial - Environmental Impact Assessment Quiz

In this myForest Tutorial you will learn what the Environmental Impact Assessment tool is, and how to use it.

Prior to creating a Scottish Forestry compliant woodland creation plan you may be required to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This requirement varies depending on the size of your proposal and any sensitivities which your site may have.

The EIA Quiz allows you to quickly assess whether you are required to complete a Screening Opinion Request Form and accompanying Issues Log prior to any woodland creation proposal being submitted. The quiz takes no longer than 5 minutes to complete and can help you understand the requirements needed for your woodland creation proposal to be approved.

...
VIDEO COMING SOON!

What is Forest Lab?

Forest Lab is a project within myForest which enables landowners and scientists to exchange information about woodlands.

We know that woodland owners and managers often express concern about how to manage their woodlands in the rapidly changing environment. Sylva Foundation and Forest Research are working together to increase knowledge exchange between myForest users and forest scientists. We have developed new tools within myForest to enable users to collect and share data from their woodlands that could help support forestry science and how the appropriate use of knowledge could benefit woodland management.

Why should I take part?

Our aim is for Forest Lab to contribute to society’s understanding of critically important issues affecting the resilience and future of our trees and woodlands. We hope that scientists will be more attune to the needs of landowners, and that landowners will be kept uptodate about emerging issues, technologies and opportunities to improve their woodland creation or management.

Specific benefits of collaboration to myForest users includes access to specialist knowledge to support site-specific management decisions. Participants will also gain information and research results directly as a result of their contributions, for example learning how their woodland’s growth or resilience might compare to others nearby.

Benefits to forest scientists are access to knowledge, information and data about many different woodlands. We are calling this project Forest Lab.

Engagement Agreement

With our partners Forest Research (FR) we have developed an ‘Engagement Agreement’ which sets out the joint commitments of Sylva Foundation and FR working together with volunteer ‘stewardship scientists’ participating in Forest Lab. It outlines the general expectations of all parties, and provides examples of commitments which may exist within specific Forest Lab projects. This agreement is an important step in the sign-up process.

Please read the Engagement Agreement before signing up to any projects. You will be asked to confirm that you have read this and accept its terms on signing up to each project.

Data privacy and data sharing

Taking part in Forest Lab is optional for myForest users. To deliver Forest Lab we collaborate with Forest Research as an external third party. Unless consent is clearly given by a user, no personal data will be shared with this or any other third party. Separate consent options are provided in your Forest Lab Account Settings. More information is provided in the ‘Engagement Agreement’ and under ‘Forest Lab settings’.

How to apply for a Forestry Commission Felling Licence using myForest

  • Felling Licence Online (FLO) is the Forestry Commission’s online felling licence application and management portal.
  • Felling Licence Applications can be completed by uploading directly into FLO.
  • Once you have created your sub-compartments in myForest, using the FLO upload facility is accurate, quick and easy.
  • No need to download and complete templates as these are all generated automatically.
  1. Setting up your property in FLO
    1. Navigate to Felling Licence Online https://fellinglicenceonline.forestrycommission.gov.uk/portal/user/login
    2. Follow steps 1 and 2 of the Felling Licence Online Quick Guide
  2. Preparing files in myForest

    If you have not already done so, the first step is to create and map the relevant Sub-compartments for which you wish to apply for a felling licence.

    For each Sub-compartment, select Edit Management Data and complete the Felling tab (see below). Refer to guidance in sections 6 - 8 of the Felling Licence Online User Guide for more information.

    1. Choose Forestry Commission England licences from the dropdown list of devolved forestry authorities, then click + Add Proposal.
    2. Complete all required boxes – indicated by a 5-pointed star. Unless you select Felling Type - Thinning you will need to complete the Restocking section. Bear in mind that CA / TPO designations are located in the Sub-compartment General Data panel.
    3. Expand the Management section in the control panel by clicking the right arrow, then expand the Downloads sub-section and Click Felling Licence Online. Your files will be downloaded to the folder of your choice on your PC as a zip file.
    4. Unzip your files - right-click on the zip file (Windows) and save to a folder of your choice on your PC. This will create 2 or 3 files: a zipped map "shapefile.zip" and a file called "felling.csv". If you entered restocking information, "restocking.csv" will also be created.
  3. Uploading the files to Felling Licence Online

    Refer to the relevant sections in the Felling Licence Online User Guide.

    1. Add compartment information: section 5.3 (upload the file "shapefile.zip").
    2. Start your application: section 6.
    3. Add felling detail: section 7 "IMPORT FELLING DETAILS" (upload the file "felling.csv").
    4. Add restocking detail (if applicable): section 8 "IMPORT RESTOCKING DETAILS" (upload the file "restocking.csv").
    5. Follow the instructions / information on p16-24 to submit, edit and manage your felling licence application(s).