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SUSTAINABLE
HARVESTING

SUSTAINABLE
HARVESTING

What is sustainability? It has many interpretations depending on context… here we are looking at establishing harvesting strategies for wild products which won’t degrade the resource or damage the woodlands. For this research, planning and monitoring are key to developing sustainable harvesting practices – which require time and resources. Continue reading to find out how to get started…


What is sustainability? It has many interpretations depending on context… here we are looking at establishing harvesting strategies for wild products which won’t degrade the resource or damage the woodlands. For this research, planning and monitoring are key to developing sustainable harvesting practices – which require time and resources. Continue reading to find out how to get started…


WILDLY SUSTAINABLE

Commercialisation of wild resources is right at the cutting edge of concerns about sustainable natural resources exploitation. This is because enterprise development generally requires large harvests and thus opens up the possibility of over-exploitation which needs to be controlled. Sustainable incomes also require continuous supply which needs to be planned. For these reasons we have focussed our attention on the development of woodland and species management, to support commercial production. We have approached this from the perspective of a woodland owner seeking an income from wild plants.

There is no one-size fits all procedure for preparing a sustainable harvesting plan as it depends on the peculiarities of each woodland, species, quantities and product as well as any restrictions due to conservation status or landowners interests. There are some basic principles you should consider (based on the FairWild principles):

  1. Maintaining wild plant resources:
    1. Conservation status of target species – at a range of scales e.g. is it rare elsewhere but common in your woodland?
    2. Knowledge-based collection practices – tailoring the harvesting to the species life history and role in the woodland (the technical term is its autecology)
    3. Sustainability of collection rate – how damaging is harvesting? How quickly does the plant regrow or regenerate?

  2. Preventing negative environmental impacts:
    1. Sensitive taxa and habitats – what will happen if harvesters need to repeatedly walk across wet ground?
    2. Habitat (landscape level) management – will harvesting have an impact outside the woodland? E.g. make a visible change to the woodland? 

Have a look at the examples on the Products pages to see what sustainable harvesting looks like. 

More information on Sustainable Harvesting Certification can be found on our CERTIFICATION page.


WILDLY SUSTAINABLE

Commercialisation of wild resources is right at the cutting edge of concerns about sustainable natural resources exploitation. This is because enterprise development generally requires large harvests and thus opens up the possibility of over-exploitation which needs to be controlled. Sustainable incomes also require continuous supply which needs to be planned. For these reasons we have focussed our attention on the development of woodland and species management, to support commercial production. We have approached this from the perspective of a woodland owner seeking an income from wild plants.

There is no one-size fits all procedure for preparing a sustainable harvesting plan as it depends on the peculiarities of each woodland, species, quantities and product as well as any restrictions due to conservation status or landowners interests. There are some basic principles you should consider (based on the FairWild principles):

  1. Maintaining wild plant resources:
    1. Conservation status of target species – at a range of scales e.g. is it rare elsewhere but common in your woodland?
    2. Knowledge-based collection practices – tailoring the harvesting to the species life history and role in the woodland (the technical term is its autecology)
    3. Sustainability of collection rate – how damaging is harvesting? How quickly does the plant regrow or regenerate?

  2. Preventing negative environmental impacts:
    1. Sensitive taxa and habitats – what will happen if harvesters need to repeatedly walk across wet ground?
    2. Habitat (landscape level) management – will harvesting have an impact outside the woodland? E.g. make a visible change to the woodland? 

Have a look at the examples on the Products pages to see what sustainable harvesting looks like. 

More information on Sustainable Harvesting Certification can be found on our CERTIFICATION page.