This paper summarizes key aspects of 'naturalness concepts' and their relationships to 'close-to-nature silviculture'. For perhaps 20-30 years, associated with concerns over apparently increasing biological and ecological problems (floods, avalanches, forest die-back, and other calamities) there has been an increasing debate in forestry centered on efforts to bring forest and woodland management back to more 'natural' approaches. Conservation and other management,in parallel to these arguments are flawed unless based on sound conceptual foundations, and to this end basic principles and concepts have been developed. 'Naturalness' is one such concept. However, whilst this is an important term in helping to understand the key processes at work it has proved difficult to integrate with ideas of 'close-to-nature silviculture'. This paper explores the issues and proposes more effective integration of approaches. Possible ways in which the concept can aid conservation management of woods and forests are suggested.