Nicholsons can prepare woodland management plans, advise on best practice, and implement management works which adhere to the UK Forestry Standard.

Woodland Management

Woodland management is essential in both the establishment and continuing development of healthy, productive woodlands. Correctly undertaken, management will secure the desired environmental benefits, as well as timber potential. Woodland management should be considered from the day a wood is planted.

Beyond timber, management can help woodlands recover or increase their biodiversity interest, protect and secure archaeological features in woodlands, improve landscapes and water quality, sequester carbon, and increase the enjoyment of the woodland for recreational and sporting activities.

Our team of Chartered Foresters and Surveyors pride themselves on being some of the best in the country, offering practical and solution-orientated advice and support to landowners and farmers.

From shooting rights to timber harvesting, our consultants can advise on what opportunities would work best for your woodlands. The development in industry grants and funding opportunities can provide advice and assistance with your applications, from Forestry Commission grants to woodland carbon registration and biodiversity, ensuring that your woodland enterprise is as financially secure and affordable as possible.

Our ethos is supportive and professional and we believe that this is demonstrated in all the work that we do.

Our Capabilities

Woodland Management Plans

Woodland Management Plans enable the creation of long term woodland work programmes, giving good opportunity to maximise a client’s objectives. Nicholsons are able to prepare plans for small and large woodland holdings, and secure grant aid to support this process where appropriate.

Typically an initial meeting is held with an owner to assess possible long term vision and objectives. Following this initial meeting, a detailed woodland survey is carried out, followed by compartment stocking descriptions and any proposed operations is compiled to discuss with the client. Initial survey work helps identify any potential risks to the woodland, from both a tree and public health point of view.

The Woodland Management Plan forms the point of reference for a client’s woodlands. It draws together all the pertinent details relevant to the woodlands, with the resulting recommendations for action covering a minimum 10 year period. Supported by our high-quality GIS mapping, we are able to clearly present complex proposals, work phasing and budget planning throughout the management plan period.

Woodland Management Plans are now essential for those clients wishing to secure woodland grant aid or take advantage of the Renewable Heat Incentive. Nicholsons can provide advice and support regarding sustainable wood production and production forecasts that are usually required when considering biomass heating systems. We have experience in the extraction, stacking and air drying of chip-wood for use in biomass boilers too.

Woodland Evaluation

Whether you are an owner looking to sell or you wish to acquire a woodland property, we can help you to understand the opportunities and constraints associated with woodland, including potential volume and value of standing timber.

Nicholsons have assisted owners wishing to sell woodland as well as private individuals and NGOs interested in the purchase of woodland.

Grant Applications

There are various grants available to support sustainable woodland management activities, which are mainly provided through the Rural Payments Agency. These include the Woodland Management Plan grant, that helps support the production of the plan, and Countryside Stewardship, which offer support for a wide range of land and woodland management, including Woodland Improvement, Tree Health Restoration and various Capital Grants.

With a very detailed understanding of these complex grants, we can advise and assist you in taking full advantage of securing an important income stream for your woodland. Please see the Grants, Funding and Licencing page for further details of all woodland grants currently available.

Forestry Operations and Timber Sales

Benefit from our extensive industry knowledge and experience to unlock the full potential and value of your forest. With a profound understanding of the sector, we offer a diverse range of operational services designed to meet your unique requirements.

We will assess and advise the most efficient and effective timber harvesting techniques required to manage your woodland; whether it is coppicing, pollarding or whole tree felling, we will ensure that any operation is beneficial to both the woodland and the owner. Collaborating closely with our proficient team, we will fine-tune your operations to enhance productivity, while upholding both sustainability and health and safety principles to ensure smooth and secure operations.

Alongside larger forest operations, our team also provides a comprehensive suite of forest maintenance services, ensuring the long-term health and sustainability of your forest. Essential tasks include pruning and thinning, to enhance tree health and promote optimal growth, as well as mowing and brush cutting to manage undergrowth and maintain accessibility. We also offer restocking services to replenish harvested areas or restore degraded lands, contributing to biodiversity conservation.

Realising the true value of your woodland products is the lifeblood of economic woodland management. We can assist you on all aspects of timber sales – from species identification and product types, to market presentation and price expectations.

Operational Contract Management

We understand the complexity and challenges that come with managing contracts in the forestry industry, and we’re here to streamline the process for you. Our team of experts specialises in contract administration, negotiation, and compliance, ensuring that all aspects of your forestry contracts are handled with precision and efficiency.

We offer comprehensive support throughout the contract lifecycle, from drafting and reviewing agreements to monitoring performance and resolving disputes. With our meticulous attention to detail and deep industry knowledge, you can trust us to protect your interests and maximise the value of your contracts and woodlands.


Because our planet’s affected by greenhouse gases, we need to think about what tools are best for counteracting the emissions responsible for this change.

Creating woodlands has multiple benefits, including preventing floods, improving biodiversity, health benefits, to name just a few. However, woodlands are great at storing loads of carbon and absorbing carbon dioxide, eliminating it from the atmosphere, thus, decelerating the changes to our climate.

It’s now possible to measure how much carbon a tree can store, then use it to counteract corresponding emissions from houses and vehicles.

According to research, 187 projects under the Woodland Carbon Code have generated more than 8,200 hectares of woodland, expected to sequester 3.4 million tonnes of C02.

The Woodland Carbon Code Explained

Launched in 2011, the Woodland Carbon Code is a UK government-backed scheme that creates a market for purchasing carbon credits or units. It funds new tree planting in the UK and is managed by Scottish Forestry, representing other counterpart organisations in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The scheme works by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, adding to the ecological and social advantages that result from creating woodlands reliably. The initiative enables those who’ve generated carbon to offset emissions against planting trees.

How does the Woodland Carbon Code work?

If you’re a landowner wanting to undertake woodland creation, you’ll need to authorise and register your project with the code. Designed to promote woodland creation that wouldn’t otherwise happen, the code commercial forestry plantations aren’t certifiable projects. To be eligible, your scheme must demonstrate that it’s economically viable with the advantage of carbon sales.

In a nutshell, the code generates carbon units, and one unit is one tonne of C02 removed from the atmosphere. You can see these units listed on the UK Woodland Carbon Registry.

Not only does the registry hold verified carbon units, but it also holds pending carbon units which the code describes as a pledge to deliver a carbon unit hereafter. This enables would-be investors to compensate for their future emissions and encourage woodland creation in the future.

Woodland Carbon Code’s Impact on the UK

Big-name companies in the UK must disclose their yearly greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and other relevant information. These companies can then use these certified units from code projects to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.

With the Scottish government’s goal to plant 15,000 hectares of woodland by 2025 and the UK’s aim of net-zero by 2050, the Woodland Carbon Code offers the chance for companies to strategize their pathway towards their net-zero objectives.

If you are considering carbon bookkeeping, then please contact our expert team at Nicholsons who are fully knowledgeable about the scheme.

Case Study: Wicken Wood

Nicholsons Forestry team have recently undertaken management of Wicken Wood, located near Buckingham. The woodland had become overgrown and badly squirrel damaged and the ash trees present throughout the woodland have been infected with Ash Dieback. The work to be undertaken will bring huge ecological benefits by enhancing habitats for a wide range of plants and animals.

The planting of 16,000 Native Broad-leaved trees shall further enhance and diversify the environment. Sequestration of Carbon is so crucial today and, by the age of 10 years, these trees will have each absorbed around 4kg of Carbon from the atmosphere.

This video explains the work that Nicholsons are undertaking, and the benefits that it brings the woodland area.

How can our forestry team help?

Our expert forestry team offer a wide range of services and would be happy to discuss how they can best support you.

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“Thank you all for such a rare and appreciated quality of service. We will have no hesitation in recommending you to our friends.”

Mrs Borrough

Nicholsons is accredited by the following official organisations:

Approved contractors of the Safe-contractor scheme, Nicholsons are also accredited with CHAS and Arboricultural Association. The Company recently won an award as Cherwell Established Business of the Year 2019, as well as Oxfordshire Large Business of the Year awards 2019.