New Forestry Strategy sets out long term vision

On Tuesday, 05 February 2019 a new Strategy was launched that will help to secure the long-term success and sustainability of Scotland’s forestry sector.

Scotland’s Forestry Strategy sets out the government’s approach over the next 10 years to expand, protect and enhance Scotland’s forests and woodlands. The strategy seeks to deliver greater economic, social and environmental benefits for current and future generations.

Mr Fergus Ewing MSP said:

“We can be rightly proud in Scotland of our track record on planting and maintaining trees and forests. Already, Scotland is responsible for nearly 80 per cent of new trees planted in the UK and forestry is a £1billion industry supporting 25,000 jobs all across Scotland. Our woodlands soak up 12 million tonnes of CO2 each year and at the same time, thousands of visitors enjoy health and social benefits from these fantastic natural assets, with over 200 community groups now involved in working with local woodlands.

“I am determined that we build on this success. Tree planting and woodland creation and maintenance must become a shared national endeavour. The strategy sets out key objectives for the next ten years and will serve as a framework for everyone who wants to develop Scotland’s modern, dynamic forestry sector.

“The strategy is being launched as we mark 100 years of public forestry in Scotland, celebrate the benefits achieved for habitats, wildlife, communities, people and businesses during that time. It also signals the future, with devolution of forestry functions being completed and two new agencies being established.  We have significant aspirations for forestry in Scotland- this strategy will help to deliver those.”

Developed in full consultation with a broad range of organisations, it has three 10-year objectives for Scotland’s forests and woodlands:

  • to increase their contribution of forests and woodlands to Scotland’s sustainable and inclusive economic growth;
  • to improve their resilience and contribution to a healthy and high quality environment; and
  • to increase their use to enable more people to improve their health, well-being and life chances. An implementation, monitoring and reporting Framework will be developed to co-ordinate delivery and measure progress in implementing the new Strategy. A national stakeholder group will also be established to advise on and support the delivery of the Strategy

The Strategy is a key element of the new, fully devolved arrangements for forestry in Scotland underpinned by the 2018 Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act, the first forestry Act passed by the Scottish Parliament.

Pics Alan Peebles
Fergus Ewing MSP visits Alba Trees in East Lothian