Continuous Cover past present and future. Is it time to make more noise?
With Dr Alec Dauncey

Following our most recent successful webinar we have now made a recording available on YouTube for anyone that missed it or would like to revisit: VIEW NOW ON YOUTUBE

Where are we up to in promoting Continuous Cover approaches? Greater use of Continuous Cover, or closer to nature methods, has been ‘on the agenda’ for about thirty years. Encouraging greater use of CCF has been part of the policies of governments around the UK and is part of the UK Forestry Standard and UK Woodland Assurance Standard. But has there been enough adoption of it, for the good of the resilience and ecosystem services from UK forests? What can we do?

Alec Dauncey Biography

Alec is a Lecturer at Bangor University having completed a PhD in British 20th Century forestry policy in 2016. Founder member of CCFG and participant in various ProSilva meetings and tours in the 1990s. Forest District manager in Wales implementing CCF in forest design plans. Worked as a Special Adviser to Welsh Government Ministers seeking to increase use of CCF in Wales in 2002. Defra UK/England and international Forestry Policy 2003-2008. 

Please contact Michelle at if you have any questions.

CCFG will be hosting their next webinar – Wind Stability and Irregular Forest Stand Structures

with Barry Gardiner Thursday 27th October 4pm – 5pm

This online event is hosted by CCFG featuring Barry Gardiner who will deliver a 30 minute presentation on this topic. This will be followed by a question and answer session for participants.

Barry Gardiner Biography

Barry Gardiner is a senior researcher at the Institut Européen de la Forêt Cultivée (IEFC) in France, a researcher at the University of Freiburg, German, and an honorary research fellow at Forest Research. He has a particular interest in different abiotic risks to forests. His research focus has been primarily on wind and snow damage to forests, and he developed a forest wind/snow risk model that has been adapted for use in many countries. From 1987 to 2011 he worked at Forest Research in Scotland on wind risk to forests and the influence of forest management on timber quality. From 2011 to 2015 he worked as a Senior Scientist at INRA Bordeaux on a 4-year scientific package entitled “Wind Damage to Forests in a Changing Climate: Impacts and Mitigation” and from 2016 to 2019 he worked as a senior researcher at the EFI Planted Forests Facility. He currently is working on various projects focused on multiple risks to forests and how to incorporate risk management into forest management practice. He is Associate Editor of Annals of Forest Science and Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, and Coordinator of IUFRO Group 8.03.06 “Impact of wind on forests”. He is an author on more than 100 scientific papers and has edited 3 books. He was awarded Docteur Honoris Causa de l’Université Laval de Québec in June 2016.

CCFG Event

Date: Thursday 13th October 2022
Location: Wales – CEFN LLWYD FOREST
Near Llandrillo, Bala, Gwynedd
Meeting Time: 09:30am


Further details to follow.

We advise you to bring a packed lunch and clothing to suit any weather we may encounter.

Spaces are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.


To book your space to attend this event please complete our booking form: Here


If you have any questions please contact:

CCFG Event

Date: 27th October 2022
Location: Starts in Traquair Village Hall,Innerleithen EH44 6PJ


The course aims to explore options for transformation to CCF management in forest stands which have hitherto been managed under a clearfell-and-restock regime.

***This course is currently only open to CCFG Members, Cost £125***


A 3-hour indoor session will summarise the pre-requisites and the main silvicultural methods for successful transformation to CCF. The afternoon site visit includes a number of exercises to assess the potential for transformation to CCF on a number of sites. Course location is the upper Tweed valley, with site visits scheduled in either Cardrona or Yair forest, the venue for the indoor session is Traquair Village Hall, Innerleithen EH44 6PJ There is parking available.

At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • explain the principles of CCF management
  • assess the potential for transformation to CCF on any given site
  • design suitable thinning strategies to improve stand stability with regard to wind damage
  • choose appropriate transformation methods and design forest operations accordingly


The afternoon will be spent on field visits in the forest. There will be no toilet facilities available during that time. Transport between field visit stops by car. Walking distances are generally short but up to 1.5 miles on one occasion. Walking will include rough ground. Suitable footwear and weather-proof clothing are essential, eye protection is advisable. There will be midges!


“Silvicultural Principles of Continuous Cover Forestry. A Guide to Best Practice.” This will be provided as course handout but pre-course reading would be beneficial to participants.

Spaces are limited to 12 participants so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Contact: if you have any questions.

We currently have 12 places available to CCFG members. Contact us urgently to register your interest.

Cost: £125 per delegate


CCFG Event

Date: Thursday 6th October 2022
Location: Glentress Forest, Tweed Valley, Scottish Borders
Meeting Time: 09:30am


“A return to the Scottish Borders to see the CCF managed areas of the Tweed valley and consider the impacts of storm damage, here from Storm Arwen and P ramorum on future plans.”

Meeting Point – Glentress Café

The café will be open from 9am for the purchase of food and drinks.

Parking – car park location tbc (subject to on-going civils works). Usual parking charges will be wavered for the CCFG visit.

Event details:

The morning will be spent taking a walk through part of the former University of Edinburgh transformation trial area set up in 1952. We hope this will generate much discussion about its history of the area, the current management opportunities and challenges and its future.

A picnic lunch, bring your own, will be at a view point overlooking the Tweed valley unless the weather is really inclement.

In the afternoon we will head lower down into Glentress forest. Here the forest is dominated by Sitka Spruce and the Region is in the process of revision the 10 year land management plan for Glentress, Cardrona and Cademuir forests. We will break into smaller groups to discuss options to manage this area to deliver the objectives using CCF in the light of the lessons learnt from the trial area and the current pressures and demands on forest managers.

Other information:

The morning walk will be c2hrs including discussion time on tracks and rides in the forest.

The afternoon will can be done by observing from the forest road but with the option to walk into stands for a better look at the condition of the forest.

There are toilets at Glentress Peel but none in the forest.

We are intending to car share to drive up into the forest. The roads are suitable for ordinary cars but they are water bound roads and the drivers will need to make their own judgement.

To bring:

We advise you to bring a packed lunch, water and clothing to suit any weather we may encounter including good boots and waterproofs.


Please make sure your boots and gear are clean before you arrive. There are suspect P ramorum cases in the Tweed Valley and there is vulnerable larch within Glentress.

Spaces are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.


If you have any questions please contact:

Deer Management: Threats to CCF principles from deer impacts, monitoring risk, management options and deer management delivery
With David Hooton

Following our most recent successful webinar we have now made a recording available on YouTube for anyone that missed it or would like to revisit: VIEW NOW ON YOUTUBE

National deer populations have increased in range and number over the past 70 years, with at least two species present across much of the country, in some areas 5 of the six species can be found. The impacts that deer have on a wide range of landscape objectives is widely understood as well as the consequent losses of habitat that has an effect on associated fauna and flora is widely understood. Deer need to be managed and this seminar will discuss the challenges with a widely spread deer population and the effect that deer browsing has and some of the solutions and management actions required, alongside monitoring that can be used to support landowners and foresters in managing woodlands and deer populations.

David Hooton Biography

David Hooton works for The Forestry Commission as an area Deer Officer, providing advice on sustainable Wild Deer Management to a wide range of stakeholders in the area, with a particular emphasis on supporting woodland creation applications, woodlands back into management, and venison supply chains alongside general deer management advice to a range of stakeholders. David’s main area of work covers East England and East Midlands.

David studied Game Wildlife and Habitat Management at Sparsholt College, Hampshire and on completing his course in 1992 worked for The Forestry Commission as a Wildlife Ranger managing wild deer at Thetford Forest. In 2003 a two year secondment was offered to work with The Deer Initiative to act as a coordinator for the Deer Vehicle Collisions Project. Project funding was extended allowing David to continue his role with the Deer Initiative and expand his job role to include deer management advice across the East and East Midlands. David worked with a wide range of stakeholders, providing advice on monitoring deer numbers and impacts and developing projects that supported landowners, deer managers and other stakeholders to manage wild deer to meet a wide range of landscape objectives. David joined the Forestry Commission as a Deer Officer in April 2020.

Please contact Michelle at if you have any questions.

Pro Silva Annual Meeting Luxembourg 2022

 “Knowledge to the Foresters – Pro Silva as the knowledge hub for dissemination of Close to Nature Forestry

Foresters from across the world convened in Luxembourg this week for the 2022 Annual Meeting of Pro Silva, the organisation which promotes close-to-nature-forestry (CTNF) across Europe. This three-day event had been postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year’s agenda was the most comprehensive yet, hosted by Pro Silva Luxembourg.

The meeting began on Wednesday with the Annual Board Meeting at Hotel Parc Belle-Vue in Luxembourg, where Pro Silva members discussed the current issues facing the sustainable management of European forests. For the first time, there was significant representation from Scandinavian and Baltic countries with new member Silva Ry from Finland, and participants from Sweden, Latvia, Estonia, and a new partnership with the International Forest Students Association (IFSA). Further afield, there was online participation from Brazil (ACEF), India (For EcoIndia), as well as Croatia, Portugal, Slovakia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


“At long last, Pro Silva members will come together this week to discuss the unprecedented issues and opportunities we are facing as owners and managers of European forests. We are extremely grateful to Pro Silva Luxembourg for their generous hosting of our 25th Annual Meeting, with an extensive programme exploring the themes of urban forestry, forest management and hydrology and the reconciliation of forestry, nature conservation and tourism. In 2017, at the Annual Meeting in Sibiu, Romania, we created the slogan ‘Transition to Transmission’ as a development task for Pro Silva looking forward. And now in Luxembourg in 2022, the main topic for discussion will be how Pro Silva can improve its function as a hub for the dissemination of science and evidence in close-to-nature forest management, which has been accumulated over 30 years since its inception in Slovenia in 1989”Eckart Senitza, Chairman of Pro Silva.

Topics of discussion initiated by foresters in Luxembourg  included the conversion of monoculture plantations to uneven mixed forests; the restoration of the functions of forest soils, competition between Sessile oak and Beech, and the implementation of the ‘near-natural silviculture’ regulation. Also on the agenda was an update on the Pro Silva network of exemplary forests, which now totals 120 forest stands encompassing an area of 133,000 ha. These forests represent our best examples of close-to-nature forest management trajectories, providing the basis for data exchange and research, and a location for training and demonstration. Pro Silva Executive Assistant Anne Crespin will present the new CTNF training project under development at Forêt.Nature, and there were updates on other CTNF training initiatives across Europe including the Association Futaie Irrégulière in France, and ASKAFOR.

From the boreal pine forests of Northern Scandinavia to the Pyrenean oak woods of Spain and Portugal, we already have the experience in how to transform European forests to a more resilient state. The pressing task now is how to effectively communicate and demonstrate this knowledge base so that policymakers, forest owners, forest managers, students and even farmers across Europe are empowered to utilise their forest resource and maintain their vitality in the process.

Who we are

Pro Silva is a European organisation which promotes close to nature forestry and continuous cover forest systems. It was established in 1989 in Slovenia. At present there are 22 full members of the organisation and there are also several other countries with associate membership. Since 2018 we have associated members from the United States (Forest Stewards Guild, New England Forestry Foundation), from India (ForEco India), from Brazil (ACEF St. Catarina) and Canada (“Les Amis de la forêt Ouareau”) and hopefully this marks the beginning of the formation of a global network. More than 5500 professionals and forest owners are involved in Pro Silva.

Pro Silva promotes its principles and concepts through a Europe wide program of silvicultural education involving seminars and excursions. Increasingly the members are also involved as partners in national or international research and networking projects. A European network of best practice demonstration forests is being developed.

30 Years of Applying CCF in Perthshire
With Charlie Taylor

Following our most recent successful webinar we have now made a recording available on YouTube for anyone that missed it or would like to revisit: VIEW NOW ON YOUTUBE

Charlie Taylor is currently Strategic Planning Manager for Forestry and Land Scotland. Prior to this, for nearly 30 years, he was Forest District Manager in Tay Forest District through the various incarnations of the Forestry Commission during that time. He led a large team tasked with looking after 38,000 ha of the national forests across Perth & Kinross, Angus, Dundee and north-east Fife. This included large operational programmes (e.g. 100,000m3 of clearfelling and 70,000m3 of thinning), a Forest Park, a Woodland Park, 6 Special Areas for Conservation, 13 SSSI sites, numerous cultural heritage sites and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders.

Before moving to Tay he was a Siviculture Project Leader in Forest Research, based at the Northern Research Station. Although initially focussed on forest nutrition, the portfolio of projects expanded to include species trials and agroforestry experiments spread across the uplands of Britain. The silvicultural experience gained during this time provided the drive to initiate the large-scale development of CCF in the national forests in Scotland. The proposed commitment of over 250ha in Craigvinean Forest near Dunkeld to CCF in 1991 required a full Forestry Commission (GB) Board meeting on site to agree this first major exception to the policy prevailing at that time.

Over the next three decades the area committed to CCF rolled out to many other forests across the District. Sustaining the thinning and cleaning programme to deliver this proved challenging due to the vagaries of the timber market, the scale of the programmes, scattered nature of regneration, contractor skills and turnover of staff.

Please contact Michelle at if you have any questions.

Freestyle Silviculture in Slovenia
With Professor Jurij Diaci

Following our most recent successful webinar we have now made a recording available on YouTube for anyone that missed it or would like to revisit: VIEW NOW ON YOUTUBE

Professor Jurij Diaci is head of the Department of Silviculture at the Department of Forestry, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in forestry from the University of Ljubljana and a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He gained practical experience in silviculture while working in the Nazarje mountain region in the Savinja Alps. 

His research work is in the field of forest ecology and silviculture, with emphasis on old-growth forests and uneven-aged mixed managed forests. He is interested in forest response and adaptation to climate change, as well as the scientific basis for close-to-nature, ecological forestry. He has led more than 20 national research projects, participated in several international projects (e.g., BEAR, NATMAN, LISS, ONEforest), and is fascinated with networking science and practice. 

He has written and edited several books and published more than 80 scientific articles. He has served as a board member of the international association Pro Silva and is chairman of the board of the Pahernik Foundation, which manages 630 hectares of forest that has been managed in a close-to-nature approach for more than 100 years.

Please contact Michelle at if you have any questions.

CCFG Event

Date: Thursday 26th May 2022
Location: Cranborne & Crichel Down Estates, East Dorset
Meeting Time: 09.15 for 09.45 start


Growth responses to interventions during the transition of Douglas fir and oak plantations to irregular structures.

A major gap in our knowledge relating to the transition of even-aged stands to permanently irregular structures is the lack of stand/ yield models. This meeting will consider this issue in light of increment and growing stock information in a number of Douglas fir stands in various stages of transformation and will also consider the growth response of oak plantations subject to innovative thinning regimes. 

We advise you to bring a packed lunch and clothing to suit any weather we may encounter.

Spaces are limited to 40 people so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Contact: If you have any queries please contact: