National Forest Estate Subcompartments GB

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:

  1. The inventory of forests;
  2. The land-uses;
  3. The land we own ( Deeds);
  4. 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. COMPARTMNT Compartemnt Nos. SUBCOMPT Sub-compartment letter SUBCOMPTID Unique identifier BLOCK Block nos. CULTIVATN PRILANDUSE Land Use of primary component PRISPECIES Primary component tree species PRIPLANTYR prim. component year planted PRIPCTAREA Prim. component %Area of sub-compartment SECLANDUSE Land Use of secondary component SECSPECIES Secondary component tree species SECPLANTYR Secondary component year planted SECPCTAREA Secondary component %Area of sub-compartment TERLANDUSE Land Use of tertiary component TERSPECIES Tertiary component tree species TERPLANTYR Tertiary component year planted TERPCTAREA Tertiary component %Area of sub-compartment CULTIVATN An indication of the way the sub-compartment has been prepared for establishment. PRIHABITAT Primary component UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) Broad and Priority Habitats. SECHABITAT Secondary component UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) Broad and Priority Habitats. TERHABITAT Tertiary component UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) Broad and Priority Habitats.

Data and Resources

  • National Forest Estate Subcompartments GB

Additional Info

Field Value
Last Updated July 23, 2020, 12:26 (UTC)
Created June 20, 2011, 14:40 (UTC)