All organisations hold information about the core of their business. The Forestry Commission holds information on trees and forests. We use this information to help us run our business and make decisions.
The role of the Forest Inventory (the Sub-compartment Database (SCDB) and the stock maps) is to be our authoritative data source, giving us information for recording, monitoring, analysis and reporting.
Through this it supports decision-making on the whole of the FC estate.
Information from the Inventory is used by the FC, wider government, industry and the public for economic, environmental and social forest-related decision-making. Furthermore, it supports forestrelated national policy development and government initiatives, and helps us meet our national and international forest-related reporting responsibilities.
Information on our current forest resource, and the future expansion and availability of wood products from our forests, is vital for planners both in and outside the FC. It is used when looking at the development of processing industries, regional infrastructure, the effect upon communities of our actions, and to prepare and monitor government policies.
The Inventory (SCDB and stock maps), with ‘Future Forest Structure’ and the ‘rollback’ functionality of Forester, will help provide a definitive measure of trends in extent, structure, composition, health, status, use, and management of all FC land holdings. We require this to meet national and international commitments, to report on the sustainable management of forests as well as to help us through the process of business and Forest Design Planning. As well as helping with the above, the SCDB helps us address detailed requests from industry, government, non-government organisations and the public for information on our estate.
The FC’s growing national and international responsibilities and the requirements for monitoring and reporting on a range of forest statistics have highlighted the technical challenges we face in providing consistent, national level data. A well kept and managed SCDB and GIS (Geographical Information System - Forester) will provide the best solution for this and assist Countries in evidence-based policy making.
Looking ahead at international reporting commitments; one example of an area where requirements look set to increase will be reporting on our work to combat climate change and how our estate contributes to carbon sequestration.
We have put in place processes to ensure that at least the basics of our inventory are covered:
- The inventory of forests;
- The land-uses;
- The land we own ( Deeds);
- The roads we manage.
We depend on others to allow us to manage the forests and to provide us with funds and in doing so we need to be seen to be responsible and accountable for our actions. A foundation of achieving this is good record keeping.
A sub compartment should be recognisable on the ground. It will be similar enough in land use, species or habitat composition, yield class, age, condition, thinning history etc. to be treated as a single unit. They will generally be contiguous in nature and will not be split by roads, rivers, open space etc. Distinct boundaries are required, and these will often change as
crops are felled, thinned, replanted and resurveyed.
In some parts of the country foresters used historical and topographical features to delineate sub-compartment boundaries, such as hedges, walls and escarpments. In other areas no account of the history and topography of the site was taken, with field boundaries, hedges, walls, streams etc. being subsumed into the sub-compartment. Also, these features may or may not appear on the OS backdrop, again this was dependent on the staff involved and what they felt was relevant to the map. The main point is that, as managers we may find
such obvious features in the middle of a sub-compartment when nothing is indicated on the stock map, while the same thing would be indicated elsewhere.
FOREST Cost centre Nos.
COMPTMENT Compartemnt Nos.
SUBCOMPT Sub-compartment letter
SUBCOMPTID Unique identifier
BLOCK Block nos.
CULTCODE Cultivation Code
PRIHABCODE Primary Habitat Code
PRIHABITAT Primary Habitat
PRILANDUSE Land Use of primary component
PRISPECIES Primary component tree species
PRIPLYEAR prim. component year planted
PRIPCTAREA Prim. component %Area of sub-compartment
SECHABCODE Secondary Habitat Code
SECHABITAT Secondary Habitat
SECLANDUSE Land Use of secondary component
SECSPECIES Secondary component tree species
SECPLYEAR Secondary component year planted
SECPCTAREA Secondary component %Area of sub-compartment
TERLANDUSE Land Use of tertiary component
TERSPECIES Tertiary component tree species
TER_PLYEAR Tertiary component year planted
TERPCTAREA Tertiary component %Area of sub-compartment
TERHABITAT Tertiary Habitat
TERHABCODE Tertiary Habitat Code
Any maps produced using this data should contain the following Forestry Commission acknowledgement: “Contains, or is based on, information supplied by the Forestry Commission. © Crown copyright and database right [Year] Ordnance Survey ”. Attribution statement: Contains OS data © Crown copyright [and database right] [year].