Minutes of the Highland and Islands Forestry Forum meeting, 16 August 2012

Members Present

Bob Stubbs – Chair
John Risby- Highland and Islands Conservancy
Malcolm Wield – Highland and Islands Conservancy
Evelyn Murray- Highland and Islands Conservancy
Hugh Clayden - Tree Health Policy Adviser, FC Scotland
David Howat - Deputy Director – FC Scotland
Gail Rogerson - Highland and Islands Conservancy
Tim Cockerill - North Highland Forest District
Dr Michael Foxley - Forum Member
Neil Sutherland - Forum Member
Mike Thompson - Forum Member
John McGlade - Forum Member
Eleanor Garty - Forum Member
Amanda Bryan - Forum Member
Becky Shaw - Forum Member
Margaret Davidson - Forum Member
Robert Patton - The Highland Council
Steve North - Scottish Natural Heritage
Steve Conolly - Forum Member
Anne Rae - RPID
Brian Mutch - RPID

Apologies

Will Boyd Wallis
Sheila Nairn
Diane Macpherson
George Hamilton

Introductions

The Chair congratulated Amanda Bryan on her recent appointment as a Scottish Commissioner for the Forestry Commission.

Presentations

1) Hugh Clayden - Tree Health Policy Adviser, FCS - Dothistroma Needle Blight. Hugh updated members on the latest situation with the outbreak on Dothistroma needle blight, which would form the basis of the later site visits. Given the importance of the subject to the region, it was agreed that the forum should continue to keep a watching brief on the subject.

2) David Howat - Deputy Director, FCS – David gave a policy update on current issues including the follow up to the WEAG group report and the progress towards a successor SRDP programme. It was noted that the coming 18 months or so would be critical in the formulation of a new programme and therefore members agreed that future forum meetings should have the successor to SRDP as a standing agenda item.

3) Tim Cockerill – Tim gave a presentation on a Forest Enterprise Consultation on Strategic Direction for the National Forest Estate. It was agreed to distribute the presentation electronically to all members. In discussion it was noted that the current consultation on the Community and Empowerment Bill may well impact on the FES plan and we needed to consider it in producing a forum response. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/06/7786

 

The Chair agreed to prepare a draft response and asked Amanda Bryan, Margaret Davidson and Michael Foxley to consider the impact of the Community Empowerment Bill and to assist in the drafting process. John and Tim agreed that they would contribute and offer comment on the drafts.

A draft response would be circulated to members prior to the consultation closure in October.

The formal meeting was followed by site visits to Caithness where we visited Dothistroma infected sites and looked at new woodland creation sites on former agricultural sites.

Evelyn Murray
Secretary
Highland and Islands Forestry Forum

21 August 2012