Forest Integrate

A project looking to make the collection of woodland inventory data via smartphones easier and more accessible.

Innovation and active management for woodlands in the Northeast and Yorkshire.

The Northwoods Forestry Sector Support Programme supports and delivers projects that provide innovation and active management for forestry. Read on to discover more about this programme.

Forest Integrate is a new project which is looking to make the collection of woodland inventory data via smartphones simpler and more accessible by integrating different applications into one platform. This project is led by Evolving Forests supported by Sylva Foundation, the National Trust, and Northwoods consortium members Reheat and RDI Associates.

Management plans and plans of operation require a knowledge and record of the woodland inventory, ecology and carbon stocks. This can be a time-consuming, analogue process that often leads to incomplete or rushed inventories and sometimes deters from undertaking one at all. 

There are an increasing number of digital tools that can make undertaking woodland inventories and condition assessments an efficient process, available to a wide range of users. However, other than costly bespoke systems, these apps do not seamlessly integrate, meaning that they are not as accessible as they could be.  

In a project funded by the Forestry Commission's 'Woods Into Management Forestry Innovation Fund’, Forest Integrate, Evolving Forests will test how data from these digital tools could flow between platforms to make assessing woodland conditions and management planning a more seamless and accessible process. The Forest Integrate project will bring together a group of collaborators to work to test this premise, including Sylva Foundation with their myForest mapping platform, and Arboreal Forest’s inventory app. Down the line, integration of apps for ecological assessment, and supply chain tools will be also explored.

 Northwoods and the National Trust will support Evolving Forest’s undertake stakeholder research through questionnaires and focus groups to understand the need for an integrated, smartphone-based app and platform and test its use in the field with woodland owners and managers.

The project will be completed by April 2025 with the main aim for an owner of a small woodland to be able to take their mobile device into their woodland and create an inventory of their woodland which can then seamlessly be saved in a platform associated with their woodland mapping. They will then be able to incorporate this information into their management plan and plan of operations. 

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