The economic contribution of the National Forest Estate

The National Forest Estate - the land that is managed by Forest Enterprise Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers and the people of Scotland - is a treasured national asset. As well as benefiting our environment and people, it also makes an important contribution to Scotland's economy.

The economic contribution of Scotland’s National Forest Estate (PDF 719KB), published in March 2016, evaluates the contribution of the estate to Scotland's economy.

View of forest with text: "Scotland's National Forest Estate generates £395 MILLION FOR SCOTLAND'S ECONOMY each year and SUPPORTS OVER 11,000 JOBS."

Key facts from the report

The National Forest Estate generates £395 million of Gross Value Added (GVA) every year for the Scottish economy – that’s more than £1 million every day. Of this:

  • Forestry and timber processing accounts for £285 million of GVA

  • Tourism and recreation contributes £110 million of GVA, from over 9 million visits to the estate per year

11,015 full time equivalent jobs (FTE) are supported by activity on the National Forest Estate. Of these:

  • 7,225 FTE jobs were in forestry and timber processing

  • 3,790 FTE jobs were in recreation and tourism

a forwarder in a forest

Why is this important?

The report assesses the number of jobs provided by the estate, and the value of the wide range of activities that the estate supports. It highlights why the estate is so important to Scotland and, as the first report of its kind, it also provides a baseline against which to measure its future performance and management.

Supported employment

The jobs supported by the National Forest Estate include direct employment with Forestry Commission Scotland, Forest Enterprise Scotland, and the Forestry Commission, as well as jobs from the harvesting, timber transport, timber processing, venison, renewable energy and tourism sectors.

Many of the jobs supported by activity on the National Forest Estate are in rural and remote locations where employment opportunities are limited.
 

Whitelee wind farm

Wide range of activities

The report represents the wide range of activities that take place on the estate. In addition to sustainable forestry and timber production, estate activities include renewable energy developments, agriculture, community projects, conservation and recreation and tourism.

Diverse benefits

Of course, the National Forest Estate doesn't just deliver economic benefits. It also provides diverse habitats for wildlife, fights climate change, supports health and communities, and creates some of our most beautiful landscapes.
 

7stanes biking

Economic contribution of forestry in Scotland

This report is focused on Scotland's National Forest Estate. You may also be interested to read the companion report which assesses the forestry sector in Scotland: The economic contribution of forestry in Scotland.