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.

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


A82 tree felling work above Loch Ness

One of our most challenging projects is the felling of nearly 100 year old trees on steep slopes high above the A82 between Glencoe and Inverness. The operations will help to improve the resilience of the A82 against unplanned road closures as a result of extreme weather or storm events.



Plant health round-up

The risk of exotic pests and diseases arriving in Scotland is amplified with increasing globalisation, whilst future climate changes could increase the risk of their establishment, spread and impact.

Phytophthora ramorum, Dothistroma needle blight and Chalara dieback of ash remain the highest profile tree health issues in Scotland, and Action Plans for them remain under regular review. Other pests and diseases under close monitoring and management action include pine tree lappet moth and the great spruce bark beetle.

Constant vigilance against new threats, together with continued co-ordinated action to manage existing pests and diseases, is essential if Scotland’s forests are to remain economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. 

scotts view sunrise


Exciting times for Scottish forestry

“These are exciting times for forestry in Scotland” was the message from Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity to FCS Conservancy staff.

Mr Ewing visited each of the five Conservancies – in Dumfries, Hamilton, Perth, Huntly and Dingwall – to meet with staff to thank them for their work, listen to their hopes and concerns for the future and share his vision for a growing Scottish forestry sector.

fergus ewing portrait


Woodland activity programme for people with early stage dementia

Green prescriptions by doctors and other health professionals could be a valuable way of helping older people reap the benefits of outdoor recreation and remain active.

 dementia a5 leaflet 2016 callendar wood page 111


Managing diffuse pollution

A new video on following good forestry practice to improve water management has been added to the suite of tools on the Forestry & Water Scotland web site.

Good water management helps reduce diffuse pollution risks from forestry operations. This benefits the forest environment and wider landscape, helps compliance with water regulations and the UK Forestry Standard, and plays a key part in managing a forest sustainably.

forestry staff