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ROYAL FORESTRY SOCIETY | associate members

The Royal Forestry Society

Trees and woodland play an incalculable role in the landscape, culture and economy of our country. The Royal Forestry Society is the largest and longest established education charity promoting the wise management of woods in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Our mission is to inspire passion and excellence in woodland management. We do this through education and knowledge-sharing, which have been at the heart of the RFS ethos since its foundation in 1882.

RFS hosts the careers guide for the whole forestry sector, on behalf of the Forestry Learning and Development Working Group (FLDWG) who we work closely with to coordinate national forestry education/learning/skills programmes.

We award Level 2/3 qualifications in Forestry, Arboriculture and Silviculture, and a full post-nominal certification in recognition of both practical certificates and theory qualifications; these are the RFS Cert Arb, RFS Cert Forestry and RFS Cert Silviculture.

See our Guide to Careers in Forestry here.

Our vision

Woods which produce sustainable timber, wood fuel and other products will be preserved. This is better for nature conservation, better for public health, and better for the economy. But to achieve it, they need to be wisely managed.

This is our vision: that all woodlands are actively managed, and valued by all, for their social, economic and environmental benefits.
The Royal Forestry Society makes a unique and distinguished contribution, through the dissemination of practical and applied learning to all those involved in caring for trees and woodland. This learning is based on a long history of evidence based enquiry; informed experimentation, and willingness to share expertise freely. Our membership is inclusive of all woodland interests, which enriches the quality of this learning. Our divisional structure enables an annual programme of woodland meetings which is second to none, and our journal is highly prized for its unique mix of scientific articles, practical forestry advice and personal experience.

Our work spans:

  • Sharing learning and best-practice through publications and woodland meetings and online resources for our members;
  • Education for children and young people through our Teaching Trees programme;
  • “Wise About Woods” – our training, education and skills development programme for woodland owners and other woodland enthusiasts.
  • Developing and recognising talent and skills including bursaries, training and awards through our Future Foresters programme
  • Raising awareness of issues affecting woodlands to government and media;
  • Owning and managing three demonstration woods.


The RFS has a diverse membership of 3,500+ members including woodland owners, professional foresters, arborists, countryside professionals, conservationists, lecturers, students and people with an active interest in learning about the care of woods and trees. Everybody is welcome. We do not represent the interests of any single group and so are a source of unbiased information for anyone caring for woodlands.
The work of the Royal Forestry Society is funded through donations, grants, legacies and corporate sponsorship, together with membership subscriptions.
We are a Registered Charity (No. 306093) and also a charitable company limited by guarantee incorporated in England & Wales (No. 5306975). Our VAT registration number is 697 9058 62.

01295 678588

01295 670798

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