Biological diversity – or biodiversity – is the term given to the total diversity and variability of life on earth and of the natural systems of which we are all part.

Scotland's forests and biodiversity

Scotland's forests and woodlands occupy just 17% of our land surface but they support a disproportionately high share of our biodiversity. Forest biodiversity conservation is an integral part of both the Scottish Government's Scottish Forestry Strategy and Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.

Forestry Commission Scotland plays a strong role in both strategies and we contribute to the UK Biodiversity Action Plan as lead partner for 6 native woodland action plans in Scotland.

FCS carries out a wide range of work to enhance or conserve biodiversity, by managing Scotland's National Forest Estate and encouraging good practice and conservation projects in private woodlands.

The Woods for Nature programme

In 2008 we published Woods for Nature: Our Biodiversity Programme 2008-2011 (PDF 4Mb) setting out our aims and key actions to help promote biodiversity in Scottish woodlands.

Read the 2010/2011 progress report (PDF 161k)

We have now extended the programme, and Woods for Nature next steps (PDF 386k) sets out actions we will take up to March 2014.

Species action notes

As part of our biodiversity programme we have identified a suite of key threatened woodland species for action and our work for these are described in a series of Species Action Notes. These are currently being updated to review progress and set out further actions.

Programme for protected woodland sites

Work to improve designated woodland sites is set out in a Scottish Programme for Protected Woodland Sites.

Variety is the spice of life

Scotland is particularly rich in biodiversity – from the seas around us to the mountain tops. But nowhere is it more evident than in our forests and woodlands. In fact, wildlife is one of the things that people say they value most about woodlands when they visit.

Variety is the spice of life cover image

Variety is the spice of life - Action for nature on Scotland's National Forest Estate

This publication is dedicated to showcasing Scotland's biodiversity on Scotland's National Forest Estate.