• WCA survey pack
  • WCA survey pack contents
  • wca1
  • wca1
  • wca2
  • wca3
  • wca3
  • wca4
  • wca4
  • wca5

WCA Survey pack

Woodland Condition Assessment

How valuable is your woodland for wildlife?

The Woodland Condition Assessment (WCA) will help you assess your woodland’s condition in a standardised way. Carrying out the assessment is straightforward, and anyone can do it. You do not need any special equipment.

The WCA Survey pack contains everything you need to complete the Woodland Condition Assessment:

  • Woodland trees and shrubs guide (WCA1)
  • Woodland ground vegetation guide (WCA2)
  • Tree pests and diseases guide (WCA3)
  • Woodland indicators guide (WCA4)
  • Woodland Condition Assessment booklet (WCA5)

In autumn 2023 we asked WCA surveyors what they needed to help them carry out the survey themselves. Many owners and managers of woodland asked for help with identifying trees and wild flowers. Others were keen to spot the signs of tree pests and diseases. As one of the UK’s leading publishers of nature guides, Field Studies Council was only too glad to help!

Woodland trees and shrubs guide (WCA1)

Use the guide’s straightforward flow chart for speedy tree identification. Almost 100 different trees and shrubs are named in the WCA record sheets. Want to tell apart beech and hornbeam? Maple and sycamore? Spruces and firs? Simple yes/no questions will quickly guide you to the colour illustrations for each tree. In addition there  is a photo guide to the buds and bark of the commoner trees in winter.

Woodland ground vegetation guide (WCA2)

Recognising woodland ground vegetation is an important part of the WCA. This guide will help you work out how natural the ground vegetation is in your area of woodland. Also includes a reference guide to the indicator plants of ancient woodland.

Tree pests and diseases guide (WCA3)

Illustrating the symptoms of ill health in trees. Unlike many similar guides, we assume no previous knowledge of pests and diseases. Instead it lists the three major parts of the tree to check: canopy, trunk and roots. From crown dieback and cankers to epicormic growth and resin bleeds, each symptom includes photographs and concise descriptions.

Woodland indicators guide (WCA4)

Take this guide outside with you to help you to collect information on the 15 different woodland indicators.

Woodland Condition Assesssment booklet (WCA5)

An A4 booklet containing detailed instructions on the survey, photocopiable paper recording forms, and a full list of condition indicators.

The guides in this pack have been specially developed to support the WCA survey, and are all enclosed in a handy folder. The WCA pack has been co-created with Forestry Commission, Natural England and Sylva Foundation.