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
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.
- An approach to prioritising control of rhododendron in Scotland (PDF 8.8MB)
- Guidance for delivering invasive non-native plant control projects (PDF 7.45MB)
For queries about non-native trees or shrubs on private land, please contact the local Conservancy office
For queries about non-native trees or shrubs on the National Forest Estate, please contact the local District office
Queries about other non-native woodland plant species (non-woody shrubs, flowering plants and lower plants) or non-native woodland animals should be directed to Scottish Natural Heritage