Good Woods shortlisted for responsible business award

posted on July 21, 2014


Good Woods - for people, for nature

Good Woods – for people, for nature

Good Woods has been nominated in the Best Business/NGO Partnership category at The 5th Annual Responsible Business Awards.

This award goes to the best sustainability/corporate responsibility partnership between a company and other entities (i.e. NGOs, governmental body, charity or other non-profit organizations). The winner will have shown clear commitment to a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership that can demonstrate real social/environmental/governance gains for society.

Good Woods is a partnership between B&Q’s One Planet Home, BioRegional and the Sylva Foundation. In its inaugural year Good Woods provided professional forestry advice and support for 235 woodlands across the South East and East of England.

To deliver this professional forestry support to woodlands owners and managers the partnership developed a network which included: local forestry professionals, woodland management charities, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, environmental charities and Wildlife Trusts. Additionally Good Woods worked closely with Forestry Commission England, which provided general support and technical guidance.

This welcome news comes as Good Woods is preparing to start a further phase elsewhere in Britain. Details of this phase of Good Woods will follow in coming weeks.

This Responsible Business Excellence Celebration is organised by the Ethical Corporation and is to be held on September 29th 2014 in London. Read more


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Good Woods project celebrated in film

posted on March 28, 2014

To mark the end of the first year of the Good Woods Project the partners have released a film highlighting the achievements of the project in its inaugural year.

The Good Woods project, launched in January 2013, resulted from a partnership between Sylva Foundation, leading home improvement and garden centre retailer B&Q, and sustainability charity BioRegional. The project aimed to improve the environmental, social, and economic values of woodlands.

BioRegional and Sylva worked with Lantern, sustainability consultants, to establish and support a network of organisations and advisors which included: Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty; Wildlife Trusts; Woodland charities; and professional foresters. We are very grateful for the hardwork and dedication by all.


Over the last year the Good Woods project team has been working to improve the levels of woodland stewardship in the South East and East of England.

Key achievements to date:

  • Supported 235 land owners and managers, caring for 10,900 ha of woodland, with tools and training in woodland management, linked to the freely available myForest service;
  • Developed the new Woodland Star Rating to encourage and communicate the benefits of sustainable forest management in woodlands, and help demonstrate what good woodland stewardship means to the general public;
  • Provided training in woodland management and community engagement to 20 community groups.
  • Worked with B&Q and its suppliers to better understand the barriers and opportunities to source more sustainably produced timber from UK woodlands.
  • Developed a Stakeholder and Community Engagement Guide – to help woodland owners and managers communicate forestry activities to the public (to be published shortly).
  • Created a Woodland Producer’s Pack to assist woodland owners in assessing their woodland for the full range of forestry products (to be published shortly).

Moving Forward

Good Woods provides a model for providing support in Sustainable Forest Management to owners and managers of UK woodlands. This approach is coupled with a vision for strengthening the national supply chain to bringing more responsibly produced, home-grown timber into our homes and workplaces.

The project partners are currently planning the next phases of Good Woods and we will provide updates in the coming months.

Good Woods - for people, for nature

Visit the Good Woods web page

The Good Woods project is breathing new life into UK woodlands. The project—a joint initiative between DIY giant B&Q, sustainability charity BioRegional and forestry charity The Sylva Foundation—aims to revive woodlands to provide environmental, social and economic benefits.

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Good Woods passes its first century during Grown in Britain week

posted on October 17, 2013

As the end of Grown in Britain week nears, the team behind the Good Woods project announces that over 100 woodlands, covering an area of under-managed woodland the size of 13,000 football pitches, has been supported.

Good Woods is a pioneering joint initiative between DIY retailer B&Q, sustainability charity BioRegional and forestry charity The Sylva Foundation, supported by Lantern. Together they are:

  • Providing professional forestry advice and woodland planning tools to owners of under-managed woods across the south East and East of England
  • Strengthening links between communities and woodlands by communicating the benefits of working woodlands to society
  • Aiming to improve the markets for woodland products so that forestry can further contribute to the growth of the green economy

Good Woods is making a strong contribution to Grown in Britain – a new, Government-backed initiative to help Britain further understand and value our nation’s trees and woodlands. Grown in Britain aims to create a strong wood culture by providing more jobs in the forestry sector, improving woodland habitats for nature and creating more places for people to exercise and enjoy the countryside. It is now widely considered that this multi-purpose approach is essential for creating a sustainable future for Britain’s woodlands.

Some images showing the work of Good Woods during 2013

Sue Riddlestone, Chief Executive of BioRegional, said: “Good Woods is all about a better future for our woodlands. We want local people to enjoy them, wildlife to thrive in them, masses of carbon to be stored in them and for these woods to produce more useful products, helping the bottom line of Great Britain plc.”

Alistair Yeomans Chief Operating Officer of the Sylva Foundation, said: “Through Good Woods we are providing direct support to owners and managers of woodland. We are working with local land stewardship organisations to link local forestry professionals with woodland owners. We believe that focussing support to bring woodlands back into a good ecological and economic condition lays a strong foundation for a thriving ‘wood culture’.”

Key to the success of Good Woods to date has been identifying existing stakeholders with the necessary local knowledge to identify woodland owners in need of support, then providing them with woodland management resources. Working with a network of organisations ranging from Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to Wildlife Trusts has been central to Good Woods’ inclusive ethos.

Through this network, Good Woods has now signed up over 100 woodlands in the south east and east of England covering 7,800 hectares and provided advice based on the UK Forestry Standard. The UKFS sets out the approach of the UK governments to sustainable forest management.

The Forestry Commission has already started to feel the positive effect by confirming that it has received several management plan applications following Good Woods visits to woodlands.

Sonia Hutton-Taylor, whose four hectare woodland in the South East of England has benefited from a Good Woods visit, said: “I wasn’t sure what to expect but, despite all the training days I have engaged with, I can see that one can’t beat a more tailored approach than a visit from a forestry expert to a woodland.” She continued: “In this respect the Good Woods program is inspired and I am delighted to have been an early recipient of that support from a forestry professional like Paul (the Good Woods Advisor)”.


The Woodland Star Rating

Woodland management planning is key in enabling neglected woodlands to fulfil their potential for people and nature. But it can be a slow process and some owners don’t immediately see why it is needed. To help, Good Woods created a Woodland Star Rating (WSR), a light touch approach to management planning that enables woodland owners to get a feel for what the UKFS involves.

The WSR, based on a simple checklist, enables people to measure how their woodland management activities match up to the UKFS. A score is then calculated for these activities and factors in the level of ecosystem services that the woodland is deemed to provide. These services or benefits include carbon storage, quality of habitats and the products and services provided. Owners can easily download a certificate with their Woodland Star Rating which helps them demonstrate their level of woodland stewardship.

The idea is to support owners in improving their woodlands by identifying what further actions they can take. The rating scheme is available to all woodland owners free-of-charge as part of the myForest service developed and managed by the Sylva Foundation:

Alvecote Wood (7 ha) near Tamworth was the first woodland to receive a gold star in July, closely followed by Blenheim Palace Estate in Oxfordshire (over 500ha +).


Community engagement – promoting the benefits of forest management

A vital part of growing a thriving wood culture is to get local communities more involved in their nearby woods across all age groups. Good Woods is achieving this by running workshops and providing resources to increase awareness and understanding of the benefits of carrying out woodland work.


Good Woods is also further developing a Community Engagement Toolkit for woodland owners and managers, originally funded by the Forestry Commission, to provide clear information and resources to woodland owners and managers on developing and building community relations.


Bringing UK timber to market

Goods Woods will present a road map of the current UK wood supply chain, from our national woodland resource through to woodland products in national supply chains. This process will help identify the potential for bringing more timber from British woodlands to market and how B&Q, as one example, could access a greater volume of home-grown timber – thereby generating the market pull to fund woodland management work which in turn will lead to healthy and productive woodlands.


A forest product producer pack for woodland owners is also being developed to help them assess the timber species, volumes and product potential from their woodlands.




Grown in Britain

Grown in Britain week runs from 14-20 October 2013. Find out more about the initiative at



B&Q is the leading home improvement and garden centre retailer in UK. Its parent company, Kingfisher PLC is Europe’s leading home improvement retail group and the third largest in the world.. In 2011 B&Q reached a milestone having ensured that 100% of timber products it buys globally can be traced back to well-managed sources. Building on this success B&Q is now focussing on the UK market with the aim of creating sustainable, long-term working woodlands in the UK that will provide environmental, educational, social and economic value.



BioRegional is an entrepreneurial charity which establishes sustainable businesses and works with partners around the world to demonstrate that a sustainable future can be easy, attractive and affordable. We call our approach One Planet Living. BioRegional has previously pioneered projects to obtain useful woodfuel and charcoal from UK woodlands while conserving them.


The Sylva Foundation

The Sylva Foundation is a forestry charity working to revive Britain’s wood culture. It supports about 950 woodland owners across Britain in managing their woodlands sustainably through its myForest service. It also undertakes a range of science and education initiatives.



Lantern is an innovative environmental organisation that works to make a difference to companies, communities and the environment. It has extensive experience and knowledge of developing wood supply chains across the UK, working with woodland owners, wood processes and end users.

Good Woods - for people, for nature

Visit the Good Woods web page

The Good Woods project is a novel project aiming to breathe new life into UK woodlands. The project—a joint initiative between DIY giant B&Q, sustainability charity BioRegional and forestry charity The Sylva Foundation—will revive woodlands to provide environmental, social and economic benefits. For more information contact Amy Hammond:

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Good Woods project film released

posted on March 27, 2013

A film about the B&Q Good Woods project has been released. It features Sarah Greenaway from B&Q and Pooran Desai from our partners BioRegional who explain the ideas behind the project and our work objectives during 2013. They visit brickmaker Jim Matthews of H. G Matthews who uses timber to fire his kiln, harvested both from his own woodland and from an increasing number of local woodlands. The film is narrated by our Media Associate, and presenter of the 2012 BBC hit series Tales from the Wild Wood, Robert Penn.

[vimeo video_id=”60726019″ width=”700″ height=”550″ title=”Yes” byline=”Yes” portrait=”Yes” autoplay=”No” loop=”No” color=”00adef”]

Read more about the B&Q Good Woods project at


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Realising nature’s value in our woodlands

posted on March 5, 2013
Realising nature's value

Realising nature’s value – report from the Ecosystem Markets Task Force. Click to download from the Defra website

The final report of the Ecosystem Markets Task Force was published today entitled: Realising nature’s value

The report includes (on page 21) the B&Q woodland project that we announced recently (read more). It says:

Bringing neglected woodland into an appropriate management regime is challenging, and woodland owners often lack a route to market. The B&Q UK Forest Friendly Woodland project is run by the charities BioRegional and The Sylva Foundation, and helps woodland owners and managers understand their woodland resource and create a Forestry Commission compliant management plan. A network of local woodland trainers will visit 200 woodlands across the South East and East of England, representing approximately 10,000 hectares of woodland and provide training to woodland owners on The Sylva Foundation’s MyForest mapping service.

The Ecosystem Markets Task Force was established as a practical, business-led review of the economic opportunities that arise from valuing nature correctly . The work of the Task Force is a key commitment in the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper, ‘The Natural Choice’ , which seeks to create “a green economy, in which economic growth and the health of our natural resources sustain each other, and markets, business and Government better reflect the value of nature.”

Download the report from the Defra website


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New partnership to bring woodlands back to life

posted on February 1, 2013

We are proud to announce today a ground-breaking scheme to breathe new life into neglected woodlands, developed by a partnership between the Sylva Foundation, BioRegional and B&Q.

We have teamed up with sustainability charity BioRegional and B&Q to support woodland owners in bringing woodlands into active management. The new scheme is part of B&Q’s One Planet Home programme.  The myForest Service ( will be central in the project and will support woodland owners in enhancing their woodland for wildlife, helping local communities to enjoy and value their woodlands and encourage the sourcing and supply of local timber from sustainable sources.

The new partnership was endorsed by government yesterday (31 January), when Environment Secretary Owen Paterson published the formal response to the final report of the Independent Panel on Forestry. Within the report (p.17) government said:

It is important for landowners and businesses to be aware of and understand the interests of their local communities and be willing to work with them wherever possible to their mutual benefit. We welcome B&Q’s recent initiative to help woodland owners engage with their local communities and we encourage others to do the same.”

We will be releasing more information about this major project over coming weeks.

Press Release: Bringing UK woodlands back to life, 01 February 2013

download press release


Press Release: Bringing UK woodlands back to life, 01 February 2013




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