UPDATE: Tilhill's forest management certificates restored by FSC

ONE of the UK's largest forestry firms has had its forest management certificates suspended. 

Tilhill Forestry's FSC and PEFC Forest Management Certificates were paused on April 10 after repeated "non-conformities". 

It's understood the suspension was dished out as a result of PPE failures at one of the group's sites. 

A statement from Tilhill's parent company, the BSW Group, read: "Tilhill Forestry’s FSC and PEFC Forest Management certificates have recently been suspended due to two non-conformities onsite

"BSW Group takes this very seriously and we are working closely with the onsite team and the certification body to resolve this as soon as possible. 

"We are taking the required actions to rectify the issues, and are confident that the certificate will be reinstated swiftly." 

An earlier version of this story reported that harvesting activity had been suspended on Tilhill's sites, but following publication the forestry firm clarified that this was not the case. These claims had initially been put to the organisation in advance of the article appearing online. 

Tilhill's portfolio includes 208,828 hectares of woodland, with the certification now suspended at locations such as Buccleuch Woodlands, the Clinton Devon Estates, and Wales' Llwyndrissi. 

A spokesperson for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) said: "The suspension of an FSC Forest Management certificate is not something that is taken lightly and is unusual within the UK. It is part of an escalation process within the standard auditing protocols.

"FSC UK understands that processes are underway between Tilhill Forestry and its auditors, the Soil Association, to ensure a quick resolution, and reinstatement of the Forest Management Certificate as soon as it has been confirmed that the necessary requirements have been met."