News, stories and reports from Forestry Commission Scotland and the National Forest Estate

News blog

News, stories and reports from Forestry Commission Scotland and the National Forest Estate. You can follow this feed with RSS or Atom, or on Twitter. We also publish press releases.

Review of forestry planting approval procedures November 2017

Scotland has 1.4million hectares of trees and we continue to work towards reducing the complexity and cost of the tree planting approval process to deliver the national target of 10,000hectares a year.

fcinfo2 forests


New Forestry and Water guidance

New guidance outlining precautions that Scottish Water would like to see taken when forestry activities are undertaken in source water catchments and areas with public drinking water infrastructure (assets) is now available on the Scottish Water website and the Forestry and Water Scotland website.



Skye community first to acquire land under the Community Asset Transfer Scheme

The Skye community are the first to acquire land under the Community Asset Transfer Scheme (CATS). CATS was set up to implement the new rights for communities under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 to purchase, lease or use National Forest Estate land if it provides benefits to the local community.

Minginish Community Hall Association (MCHA) have purchased 12.3ha at the Fairy Pools Car Park, Skye which will allow the community to expand the current parking facilities to accommodate 137 vehicles, to alleviate long term problems for visitors and residents, and to install additional visitor facilities.

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Photo © Russell Sherwood


Hen Harriers tagged in Highland Perthshire

A Tay Raptor Study Group member has made the exciting discovery of a Hen Harrier’s nest on the National Forest Estate in Highland Perthshire.

Tay Forest District’s environment team was delighted with the find and helped to coordinate the protection and monitoring of these raptors with the ringing and satellite tagging of the chicks when they hatched.



Woodland Officer vacancy

If you’ve always fancied practicing forestry in a fantastic location why not think about joining Forestry Commission Scotland’s Conservancy team in Argyll?

Based in Oban, a bustling port and gateway to the Isles, a Woodland Officer is no ordinary job - Argyll has the second largest softwood resource in Scotland and a busy area for commercial forestry. But forestry here is much more than spruce forests, there’s a huge variety of both places and people.

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A Forest Enterprise Scotland commitment to health, safety and wellbeing


We know that forestry is serious business and that means it can be dangerous sometimes. We want all who visit or work in our forests to be safe. That's why we're committed to championing a vibrant health, safety and wellbeing culture.

Safer forestry

Sustainable forestry should also mean safer forestry for all, and we know there's always room to improve. Over the past year, we launched media to help build visitor awareness of what goes on in a working forest. This included a behind the scenes look at forestry, a close-up video of operations in action, interviews and an interactive story. We'll build on this during the months ahead. We want all visitors to feel empowered to enjoy the huge range of activities on the NFE safely.

Our vision

But we can't stop there. Today, we're sharing our vision for health, safety and wellbeing with a new landing page for industry and staff. This shares our vision for what makes a safer, healthier industry. It will develop into an important resource for best-practice guidance and advice, sharing what we think a safer industry looks like.

In the months ahead we'll build on this resource, and share words from our CEO on our successes and areas for improvement. We care about everyone who enjoys or works in our forests – that's why we're putting safety first.

Visit our health, safety and wellbeing page to see our FES commitment to safer forestry.

Future of Land Management and Community & Visitor Services

We have begun an internal consultation on new organisational structures in Forest Enterprise Scotland. The proposal focuses on how we organise our Land Management and Community & Visitor Services.

FCS wooden sign


Review of forestry planting approval procedures August 2017

Work to implement the recommendations of the Mackinnon review continues as we aim to reduce the complexity and cost of the tree planting approval process to deliver the national target of 10,000ha.



Managing the risks of Hylobius abietis (large pine beetle) in restocking

The Large Pine Beetle (Hylobius abietis) is the most significant pest in Scottish forestry, feeding on the stems of young trees on restock sites, often causing serious damage or death of the tree.

Populations of Hylobius are large enough in some areas of Scotland to devastate a high proportion of a restock site.  The management of Hylobius is a key thread running through the new Forest Enterprise Scotland Restocking Strategy, relating to the pace of restocking and minimising the use of pesticides.

large pine beetle