Non-native species and forestry

Non-native species are plants and animals that have moved beyond their native range through human activity. Many of these non-native species have been carefully managed and contribute positively to our lives, for example as livestock, crops, timber, garden plants or pets.

However, non-native species can disrupt ecosystems, spread diseases and cause serious damage to native species, habitats and the environment.

Legislation on non-native species

The Wildlife & Environment Act (Scotland) 2011 (the WANE Act) is intended to protect Scotland’s environment from the damage that can sometimes be caused by non-native species.

Guidance for forest owners and managers

Managing invasive and non-native forestry species cover imageManaging invasive and non-native forestry species (PDF 1.7MB)

This guide provides full details of the responsibilities of forest owners and managers, and offers advice on how to reduce the risk of invasive spread through forest planning and management.

Prioritising control of rhododendron

Forestry Commission Scotland and SNH have worked together to identify priority areas for rhododendron control associated with woodland in Scotland, and produce supporting information and guidance.

The document makes it clear that responsibility for the removal of invasive non-native species, such as rhododendron, rests with landowners. However, support for landowners is available through SRDP under Forestry Grant Scheme and Agri-Environment Climate Scheme.

Further information