2.2 Management plan




  • There shall be a management planning documentation, initially for the establishment period, containing:
    • An outline of the necessary inputs and resources, including a full financial analysis
    • A summary of operational techniques
    • A chronological plan of key project operations
    • Consideration of species selection for future climate
    • A map. The map shall be clear and align with the Woodland Carbon Code mapping rules and include:
      • A base map
      • Scale
      • Name of project
      • Outer boundary
      • Open ground
      • Existing woodland and any other areas not accounted for
      • Fencing and other infrastructure
      • Grid reference
      • Legend
      • Sub-compartments
      • Additional requirements for natural regeneration
  • The management plan shall be updated on a regular basis. There shall be an outline of the longer-term management intentions, for the project duration and beyond.
  • The land manager shall have the management capacity necessary to carry out the planned project activities for the duration of the project.


Management planning documentation

If the project is receiving a woodland grant (or, as it matures, has a felling licence), any existing woodland management planning documentation may provide sufficient evidence. There should be a process for updating the management plan. The key aims and objectives of your project as well as the type of woodland to be created should be summarised in your project design document (and updated in your project progress report if changed). 

The UK Forestry Standard (including the sustainable forest management elements of climate change, soil, water, biodiversity, landscape, historic environment and people) sets out sustainable forest management standards for the UK and requirements for management planning.

  • My Forest provides free woodland mapping and management planning software
  • The Land App also provides free mapping services

In Scotland, the Scottish Land Commission provides further guidance on land management standards in their Good Stewardship of Land Protocol.

Longer-term management intentions

Project developers need to set out the intended management regime of the woodland for the project duration and beyond (e.g. regular thinning, clearfell with a given rotation length, continuous cover forestry, or minimum intervention). This should be consistent with the management regime assumed in the Woodland Carbon Code Carbon Calculation Spreadsheet.

WCC mapping rules

Projects should provide a clear and easily understandable map of their woodland creation project as a PDF.

The map forms an important part of the Woodland Carbon Code documentation. It will be uploaded to the UK Land Carbon Registry and will be a publicly available document enabling potential carbon buyers as well as validating/verifying bodies to locate your project and identify the different elements within it.

If you have already produced a map, e.g. for a grant application, then provided it accurately represents the planting carried out and meets these mapping rules, it can also be used for the Woodland Carbon Code.

Maps should include:

Base map

Ideally this should be an Ordnance Survey map, but other map formats are acceptable, provided they accurately show features such as roads, boundaries, woodlands, watercourses etc. Depending on the size of your project, you can use any appropriate scale of base map.


The map should show the scale of the original base map.

Title - Name of project

The map title should be the same name that you are using in the UK Land Carbon Registry and in your other project documents (project design document or project progress report).

Outer boundary

The outer boundary of your project should be clearly marked, ideally in red, and should include any land directly related to the project (for example, please ensure you include the entirety of your woodland creation grant in the Woodland Carbon Code project boundary).

Open ground

Any open ground within the outer boundary should be clearly mapped if above 0.25 hectares. This should include open ground which is part of a grant contract as well as any other land which is not planted.

Existing woodland and any other areas not accounted for

Any existing woodland or young planting which are not part of the carbon project but are within the boundary should be clearly marked.

Fencing and other infrastructure

Where new fencing, fence upgrades, vehicle and pedestrian gates and roads/tracks will be added, please show these clearly on the map.

Please ensure this is clear where it is coincident with project or section/sub-compartment boundaries. Provide a second map if it’s not possible to show everything on one page.

Grid reference

Your map should be labelled with a six figure British National Grid Reference (This also applies to projects in Northern ireland). The location of the Grid Reference should be clearly marked on your map, within the boundary of your Woodland Carbon Code project. This should be the same Grid Reference you use in other documentation (i.e. project design document, UK Land Carbon Registry). If your project has several separate components/stands, use the Grid Reference of the most central or the main/largest component as the Project Grid Reference. 


All features (area, line or point) on the map should be clearly identified in the map legend.


Any sections/sub-compartments within the woodland can be clearly marked and labelled (for example shaded with different colours). The woodland might be subdivided into sections based on planting mix, spacing, establishment year or site type. For example, broadleaved and coniferous planted woodland should be separated and clearly labelled. If intimate mixtures that contain both conifers and broadleaves are present, please make this clear. 

If each section is dealt with separately in your Woodland Carbon Code Carbon Calculation Spreadsheet, then use the same names for sections/sub-compartments on the map and in your carbon calculation. The sections/sub-compartments may be helpful later at the monitoring and verification stage when thinking about stratifying your site. 

Maps over multiple pages

If your map has several pages, please ensure:

  • The project name appears on each page
  • There is at least one component/ stand with marked Grid Reference on each page to enable location of the components on that page
  • All pages are combined into one PDF document

Additional requirements for natural regeneration

Provide map(s) showing

  • any seed sources/existing mature trees
  • upfront claimable regeneration < 50m from seed sources
  • upfront claimable regeneration > 50m from seed sources and
  • future claimable natural regeneration areas
  • open ground/non-eligible areas
  • Existing woodland greater than 0.25 hectares should be mapped as a polygon. Smaller clumps or individual seed trees should be marked with a symbol.

If you are claiming Pending Issuance Units upfront for any areas more than 50m from existing seed sources, then you should also provide a map of the seedling survey showing the presence of any existing seedlings on the site.

Natural regeneration example map

Natural regeneration example map with guidance notes 

Natural regeneration seedling survey example map

Natural regeneration seedling survey example map with guidance notes


Further guidance and advice

UK Forestry Standard

Free woodland management or mapping tools:


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