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01/09/2016

Consultation on forestry policy published in Scotland

Words: Roger Milne

The Scottish Government has begun consulting on proposals to safeguard the future of the country’s forests.

Ministers have stressed their commitment to keep forests in public ownership and enhance the sector’s economic, environmental and social benefits.

The forestry sector is currently worth £1 billion annually.

The administration is proposing:

  •    The creation of Forestry and Land Scotland, which will focus initially on management and development of the National Forest Estate;

  •    A dedicated Forestry Division in the Scottish Government to take forward policy and regulation activities;

  •    To consider expanding the remit of Forestry and Land Scotland to maximise the benefit of other publicly owned land; and

  •    Establishing a new, modern legislative framework for the development, support and regulation of forestry.

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, said: “The sector is at the heart of many rural communities, worth £1 billion annually and supporting 25,000 jobs. It also plays a pivotal role in tackling climate change, protecting and growing biodiversity, natural flood management and in improving general health and well-being across Scotland.”

The consultation document can be found here.

Image credit | Shutterstock

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