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Mensuration sample plots are managed by Forest Research, and the long-term growth data collected from them underpins the published yield models and also helps to inform forest policy.  The sample plot network is older even than the Forestry Commission, and has a long history of private sector cooperation: historically, 17% of plots have been privately owned.  However, only 10% of currently active plots are in private woodlands.  Forest Research are keen to place as high a proportion as possible of new plots in private forest stands.

Sample plots involve no infringement whatsoever of the owners’ rights to manage their woods as they wish; Forest Research acquire no rights, and owners take on no obligations and are free to terminate the informal arrangement at any time.  All they ask is to be allowed to mark the plots, and to take measurements that are coordinated with any management operations in which stems are removed.  Forest Research aim to keep any inconvenience to an absolute minimum – and naturally they will share any data they collect.

They are particularly interested in SS, SP, DF, OK and BI, but given the uncertainties associated with climate change they are potentially interested in any species (including mixtures, and CCF) that is being managed as a crop in a stand that is large enough for a sample plot.  Minimum necessary areas including buffers are approximately 50x50m for conifers, and 65mx65m for BLs and CCF.

If you would like to discuss the matter further, or receive more detailed written information, please contact Ian Craig ( or Richard Baden (  They will be delighted and very grateful to hear from you.

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