Key Sectors | Sustainable Forestry

Peak Ecology have been working in vegetation management and forestry in England, Scotland and Wales since their inception.

This experience has been skewed toward the commercial sector, but in 2012, we were appointed to Forestry Commission Scotland’s new ecological framework agreement, for all ten Scottish Forest Districts, where we are continuing to work on new projects under this contract all over Scotland.

It is possible for protected species to not only be resident within commercial forest plantations, but sometimes, for them to be present in abundance. Working in forestry poses its own challenges. Most often, commercial forest sites are large and remote. High specification GPS units, for both navigation and pinpointing features with a high degree of accuracy under forest canopies, are a must. Remember that in the winter, there are at best 5 or 6 hours of workable light under the forest canopy.

Away from footpaths, forests can benefit from very low-levels of disturbance in between planting and harvesting and even in the Scottish borders and central belt, it very easily possible to spend days on end working without seeing other people, a situation that arises rarely in lowland England. Our Dumfries & Galloway and Strathclyde offices play a very active role in our Scottish forestry work.

Peak Ecology have a good deal of experience of carrying out:

  • pre-operational protected species surveys prior to for example clear fell;
  • interventions in cases where protected species issues arise during works, ensuring legal compliance at all times but also ensuring that works proceed and are not held up unnecessarily;
  • general scoping surveys and constraints mapping on acquisition sites;
  • site-wide surveys and species mapping for Forest Plan purposes to aid Forest Stewardship Council accreditation;
  • supervision of works near to sensitive features, for example, forest road installation near to  otter holts and/or badger setts;
  • protected species exclusions under licence.

Our team has experience of working with a range of ‘Scottish mammals’, such as wildcat, pine marten and red squirrel, as well as specialist ornithology work including nest searches, territory and lek mapping with golden eagle, white-tailed eagle, osprey, hen harrier, goshawk, capercaillie, black grouse etc. Our Technical Director, Carol Crawford, who is a Chartered Forester, sits on the National Council of the Royal Scottish Forestry Society and is chair of their southwest Scotland and Northern Ireland committee.

If you are interested in any of our services, don’t hesitate to contact us >>