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Three–year plan for action to build on Scotland's forestry success story

By Iona M.J. MacDonald

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Scottish woodland landscape
Scottish woodland landscape

A new three–year implementation plan for Scotland’s Forestry Strategy, is aiming to ensure forests and woodlands continue to benefit communities, the environment and the economy.

Over the last three years, over 32,000 hectares of woodland have been created in Scotland, including more than 12,000 hectares of native woodland.

These woods are seen by the Scottish Government as being a vital cog in fighting climate change and nature loss, whilst also strengthening our communities and economy.

The new plan has been published with key actions, which its supporters hope will maximise the benefits that woodlands bring to the people of Scotland.

Announcing the new plan, environment minister Mairi McAllan said: “We are uniquely placed within the UK to enable responsible expansion of nature-based solutions, including increased tree cover.

“We have big ambitions with forestry, and to achieve our goals we are working collaboratively. Key to this is ensuring that forestry fits with other land uses and that we plant the right trees in the right places.

“Communities must also be at the forefront of our efforts to tackle climate change and we will strive to ensure that no-one is left behind or unfairly disadvantaged. This new Implementation Plan sets out the key forestry actions to help achieve this.”

Some of the actions to be taken forward in partnership include:

  • Supporting farmers and crofters with the benefits of tree planting;
  • Promoting the use of new wood-based products that can support the decarbonisation of other industries;
  • Scoping and establishment of a technical training hub;
  • Establishing a National Register for Ancient Woodlands and encouraging owners to protect and improve their condition;
  • Developing and implementing a framework to help forestry support community wealth;
  • Identifying opportunities to decarbonise Scotland’s wood supply chain.

Scotland’s forests and woodlands generate £1 billion to the economy each year and support over 25,000 jobs, while also improving health and wellbeing for millions.

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