Press releases

All the latest press releases from Forestry Commission Scotland and the National Forest Estate. You can follow this feed with RSS or Atom, or on Twitter. We also publish news articles on our news blog.


New apprenticeship scheme to train forestry machine operators.

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE SCOTTISH FOREST AND TIMBER TECHNOLOGIES INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP GROUP.

Young people looking to pursue an exciting and challenging career in forestry are being invited to apply for a new apprenticeships scheme based in south Scotland.

The scheme, driven by the Scottish Forest and Timber Technologies Industry Leadership Group (STTILG), aims to train young people to operate the hi-tech cutting edge machinery used in the harvesting and primary processing of timber.

The recruitment process for the first four apprentices will begin on 10 October.

Martin Gale, Chair of BSW and the Leadership Group, said;

“The shortage of new young entrants to forestry has been an industry-wide concern for some time. This has become particularly acute as the harvesting demand has increased and many existing workers are reaching retirement age or are returning to continental Europe. 

“It was clear that we needed to develop a fit-for-purpose machine operator training scheme that is viable and meets the needs of the whole sector. Thanks to the efforts of the industry partners, Forest Enterprise Scotland, Skills Development Scotland and of training providers we can now offer a pilot Modern Apprenticeship scheme that will provide in-depth training and the opportunity to consolidate their skills, which will improve trainee productivity and employability.”

The new apprenticeship will be delivered through SRUC Barony and will build on the interim programme of short courses co-ordinated by UKFPA - in partnership with SRUC Barony and John Deere. The Scottish School of Forestry is looking to establish a similar scheme from 2019.

The scheme has also won praise from Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing.

Mr Ewing said;

“Previous discussions with the forest industries have made clear the need to invest in young people and new skills to help ensure the sector’s future success.

“Thanks to the foresight and excellent partnership work being led by the Forest and Timber Technologies Industry Leadership group, this new Modern Apprenticeship scheme will be operational by the end of the year. This approach is both vital and valuable and is a sustainable and inclusive way forward, which I whole heartedly welcome.

“Increasing skilled opportunities for young people in forestry is also an undertaking in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government and I am pleased to announce that Forestry Commission Scotland is supporting this industry initiative.”

The establishment of the pilot scheme has also resulted in a unique partnership between the private sector and Forest Enterprise Scotland, which will employ the four apprentices for their first year. Two will remain with FES for the second year and two will be employed by Treetop Forestry and Elliot Henderson Timber Harvesting.

Four harvesting machines will be provided free by John Deere and Komatsu, with other companies providing fuel and ancillary equipment.

The pilot scheme will be reviewed after one year with a view to offering  more apprenticeship places to young people.

Anyone looking to apply should visit here.

Notes to Editors
 
1. The STTILG’s working group consists of a wide range of public and private sector representatives including: Forest Enterprise Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, SRUC and Scottish School of Forestry, machine manufacturers (John Deere and Komatsu),  harvesting contractors (Treetop Forestry and Elliot Henderson Timber Harvesting), Forestry Contracting Association, harvesting companies (Glennon Brothers, Tilhill Harvesting, Iggesund Forestry(UK) Ltd and James Jones and sons) and UK Forest Products Association.

2. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6508 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Scottish Government fund alleviates pressures from timber lorries

Mairi Gougeon Web

Mairi Gougeon, MSP, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment

Over £7 million of Scottish Government funding is set to increase the levels of community, social and environmental benefit gained from projects that minimise the impact of timber lorries on Scotland’s rural road network.

The 2018 Strategic Timber Transport Fund (STTF), managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, has awarded over £7 million of co-finance to projects which will improve a number of largely minor rural roads throughout Scotland or take lorries off the road with the timber being transported to market by sea.

Announcing the funding as part of the agreed Scottish budget for 2018-19, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon, said;

“Scotland’s burgeoning £1 billion forestry industry produces 7 million tonnes of timber every year – a quantity of high quality raw material that is set to increase in coming years.

“This timber will greatly benefit our rural economy but we must also do all we can to mitigate the impact on local communities of increased timber traffic on minor rural roads. The Timber Transport Fund is there to support projects that do just that.

“This year’s awards go to local authorities and forest owners that have come forward with project ideas that will facilitate the sustainable transport of timber and ultimately benefit local communities and the environment.”

As well as providing these wider community benefits required under the scheme, the funding also delivers benefits to the timber processing sector.

Amongst the projects awarded £6.3 million of support are road, bridge and junction improvements that allow timber lorries to use those routes more safely. Just over £1 million of funding has also been awarded to support the TimberLINK shipping service and the creation of landing craft loading areas that give access by sea to timber which is growing at the end of very fragile rural roads.

Roland Stiven of the Confederation of Forest Industries said;

“This funding is greatly needed to improve our rural roads to suit modern land uses such as forestry. Work on minor roads such as those at Laverhay in Dumfries and Galloway and Bunachton near Daviot in the Highlands, strengthen the road surface, widen corners and provide passing places so that timber lorries can share the road with local residents and business while the harvesting programme is underway. 

“The Scheme is also supporting work to improve the freight capacity of busy rural A roads such as the A714, vital for shifting sustainably grown timber from Galloway forests to the timber processing and manufacturing facilities in Ayrshire.”

The projects supported not only ensure the continuing steady stream of quality timber to processors across the country but also reduce the number of road miles required to transport timber to market.  

Welcoming the Scottish Government funding, David Sulman, Executive Director of the UK Forest Products Association and Chair of the Assessment Panel of the Strategic Timber Transport Scheme, said;

“The award of funding to these strategically important projects will make a real difference for the sector, as well as providing valuable community, social and environmental benefits.

“Thanks to continued Government support for the Scheme, a wide range of projects have been co-financed, with particular benefits for Scotland’s rural economy.”

The funding also supports the work of five project officers who engage with both Local Authorities and forestry stakeholders to identify any local timber transport issues and seek to identify potential solutions.

All projects are required to meet the Strategic Timber Transport Scheme funding criteria.

Some additional projects are still under consideration with further awards anticipated.

Awards to date this year include:

  • The Highland Council - £1,162,000 for public roads improvements on the C1043 Strathconon, U1096/C1068 Bunachton. U1217/B852 Glenlia-Dalcrag, B873 Altnaharra – Syre.
  • Perth and Kinross Council - £253,400 for road improvement projects on the B847, U29, C450.
  • Aberdeenshire Council - £944,827 towards timber transport route improvements across 8 roads - A97, B976, C17, C56, C43, C60, C62 & A944.
  • Moray Council - £470,316 for the Forest Roads Programme 2018 (on the C3, C5, C9, C11, C12, C13, U13, U77, U89, U105, U136).
  • Scottish Borders Council - £ 601,208 towards works on the B6357, D1/3, B6399.
  • Argyll & Bute Council - £1,466,717 towards works on the A816, A8003, C29, B8000, B840/C38, C30.
  • Ayrshire Council - £731,640 for improvements on the C11, C90, U759 and A714.
  • Dumfries & Galloway Council - £455,000 for improvements on the B796, on the U300a and A709-A75(T).

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of the Forestry Commission and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus bidh e a’ toirt seachad comhairle air poileasaidhean coilltearachd agus air riaghladh. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta as leth Ministearan na h-Alba.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Forest vandalism at Clashindarroch

Forest Enterprise Scotland has called in the police to help trace a vandal who is attempting to sabotage efforts to conserve Scottish Wildcats.

Police Scotland has been advised that a number of catch and release traps – part of an exercise to determine vole population levels in Clashindarroch Forest – had been opened up, emptied and discarded.

Voles are a main prey animal for wildcats.

This latest act of sabotage follows the theft of camera traps earlier this year.

Kenny Kortland, Species Ecologist with Forest Enterprise Scotland, said;

“Vandalism of this sort is clearly against the spirit of the Scotland Outdoor Access Code and, more importantly, is an attempt to disrupt our efforts, as part of Scottish Wildcat Action, to help conserve Scotland’s endangered and dwindling wildcat population.

“Whoever did this obviously has no interest in saving wildcats - these traps were well hidden so not discovered by accident and it would seem like a deliberate act of sabotage.

“We would urge anyone with any information about this crime to contact the police.”

Anyone with any information or knowledge of the crime is urged to contact police Scotland on 101 and quote incident reference 1336-25/9/18.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of the Forestry Commission and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus bidh e a’ toirt seachad comhairle air poileasaidhean coilltearachd agus air riaghladh. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta as leth Ministearan na h-Alba.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Health and wellbeing programme boosted across the North-east

Branching Out groups in Grampian are to benefit from a £17,000 funding grant from Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) and NHS Grampian, Directorate of Public Health, to expand the award-winning health and wellbeing programme in the North-east.

FCS’s Branching Out project, which was launched in Grampian in 2016 and has supported nearly 100 people in the area, will now cover Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and South Kincardine.

Supporting adults with long-term mental health problems, the pioneering 12-week project will be delivered by Earth for Life, North East OWL network and Aberdeenshire Council in partnership with NHS services and mental health charities and will see six groups undergo the successful woodland-based programme.

Nathalie Moriarty, Forestry Commission Scotland, Branching Out manager, said: “This is a significant investment into delivering Branching Out in the Grampian area. The programme is hugely successful and helps guide people onto a new path, where they start participating and integrating with society again. After many successful programmes taking place across the country, it is great to be able to expand on our delivery in the North-east.”

Designed to help build confidence, increase physical activity and achieve greater independence, each session is adapted by a Branching Out leader to meet the needs of each individual group. Participants enjoy three hours of woodland based activities once a week, including physical exercise on a variety of themed walks; conservation activities, such as habitat creation and nest box building; bushcraft; environmental art; and outdoor learning, such as tree and bird identification.

Emma Laing, an Aberdeen student who completed the programme, said: “I experienced activities I had never taken part in before. We built fires and shelters using only resources that we could find in the woodlands. Going outdoors into the woodlands was never something I would have thought to do, but now I really appreciate getting outside and enjoying the greenspace.”

Originally developed and funded by FCS, the success of the programme has enabled FCS to pass the structured model onto partner organisations and provide an outdoor training and accreditation programme for leaders, which has been endorsed by the Institute for Outdoor Learning and NHS Health Scotland.  

With an increased focus on mental health across all aspects of our lives, Branching Out’s role may become larger over the next 10 years.

Imran Arain, Health Promoting Health Service and Public Mental Health Lead, NHS Grampian, said: “We’re looking forward to working with FCS and our Branching Out delivery partners. This new round of funding will help us continue our work in providing positive experiences for people suffering from mental health problems and re-engage them through a range of outdoor activities and learning, helping to build their confidence and skillset.” 

Forestry Commission Scotland is now working with 22 partners in nine NHS board areas delivering up to 50 projects a year.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus bidh e a’ toirt seachad comhairle air poileasaidhean coilltearachd agus air riaghladh. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta as leth Ministearan na h-Alba.
  3. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6508 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Forest butterfly survey provides hidden surprise

PBF web II

Proposals to reintroduce a population of rare and endangered butterflies to the Trossachs have been shelved - after preparatory survey work this year found a ‘secret’ population!

The Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly, which is now very rare in England and Wales, but more widely found in the north of Scotland, was thought to be locally extinct in the Trossachs.

With only one butterfly having been seen in the area over ten years ago, Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) was working with Butterfly Conservation Scotland, RSPB, Woodland Trust Scotland & CLEAR Services to explore the possibility of a reintroduction programme.

Paul Maplebeck of Butterfly Conservation Scotland said;

“As part of the preparation for a possible Pearl-bordered Fritillary reintroduction, a team of volunteers was recruited to carry out a large-scale survey to visit the sites that were most suitable for the butterflies. Ideal habitat consists of sunny, south facing slopes with well drained soils and light woodland cover.

“Cutting edge scientific modelling was used to predict where these might be found - and it worked!

 “You can imagine our surprise and delight when the surveys revealed that FES sites within the Great Trossachs Forest NNR housed a secret population.  At least 45 butterflies were recorded at ten different locations in May this year.”

All of the sites where the butterflies were found were on south facing hillsides at the eastern end of Loch Katrine and featured open glades within mature woodland, with light bracken cover and clusters of favoured nectar plants such as bugle, primrose, and an abundance of common dog violet – the caterpillar’s food plant.

The survey also discovered areas of favourable habitat across FES managed ground and at sites on the Glen Finglas estate owned by Woodland Trust Scotland.

The Great Trossachs Forest, which is Scotland’s second largest designated National Nature Reserve covering over 16,000 hectares, is the long-term legacy of a forest restoration project involving Forest Enterprise Scotland, RSPB Scotland and Woodland Trust Scotland.

Katy Anderson, FES Habitats Manager added;

“This is a fantastic example of partnership work and how the combined experience, skills and resources - and the invaluable help of volunteers – can make a real difference.”

Nick Cooke of the CLEAR Services consultancy said:

“After 10 years of fruitless searching around Loch Katrine, this is excellent proof of the value of data modelling. We hope that this project will give the Pearl-bordered Fritillary population in the Trossachs a much brighter future.”

Further survey work over the next two years will help inform ongoing conservation management to help protect the species and ensure its long- term survival in the area.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus bidh e a’ toirt seachad comhairle air poileasaidhean coilltearachd agus air riaghladh. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta as leth Ministearan na h-Alba.
  3. The Pearl-bordered Fritillary features on the Scottish Biodiversity List and is a priority species under the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park’s Biodiversity Action Plan for 2013-20. Predictive modeling was used to map the potential distribution based on a range of set criteria.  Priority survey areas were identified by applying scores to determine the optimum 1Km Ordnance Survey squares in which to search.
  4. Butterfly Conservation is the largest charity of its type in the world. Our aim is the conservation of butterflies, moths and their habitats. We run conservation programmes for more than 100 threatened species and manage over 30 nature reserves. www.butterfly-conservation.org @savebutterflies . BC has more than 2000 members living in Scotland www.butterfly-conservation.org/scotland where we work closely with local communities, landowners, the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage and other conservation partners, to safeguard Scotland’s butterflies, moths and their habitats.
  5. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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A new vision for forestry

 

Views are being sought on a new draft Forestry Strategy for Scotland which aims to make the most of precious forestry resources and help cement the country’s reputation as a responsible global citizen.

The draft strategy sets out a long-term vision to inspire and stimulate a shared national endeavour to sustainably grow more trees to enhance our woods and forests both to make a greater contribution to Scotland’s climate change ambitions and to deliver more economic benefit for years to come.

The launch of the consultation, which runs for 10 weeks, is a key element in the delivery of this year’s Programme for Government.

Launching the consultation at Newbattle Abbey College, Dalkeith, with forestry and rural skills students, Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing said;

      “In April next year, the forestry devolution process will have been completed and forestry in Scotland will begin a new chapter.

“Scottish Ministers will be fully accountable for forestry and two new forestry agencies will come into being.

“It is only fitting that we also establish a new, long-term vision for forestry that increases our woodland area and delivers more economic, social and environmental benefits whilst protecting and enhancing our forest resources so that they provide more benefits for more people in 50 to 100 years’ time.

“It is also fitting that this Strategy is being developed in Scotland’s Year of Young People because our young people will grow up with our trees, and reap the benefits for themselves and their children. 

“I would encourage everyone with an interest in the future of forestry to submit their views.”

The draft strategy, once finalised in 2019, will act as a 10 year framework for action, concentrating on three key areas:

- increasing the contribution of forests and woodlands to sustainable and inclusive economic growth, especially in rural communities; 
- protecting and enhancing Scotland’s valuable natural assets, ensuring they are resilient and contribute to a healthy high quality environment; and
- ensuring that more people are empowered to use forests and woodlands to improve their health, well-being and life chances.

The draft consultation will be open online until 29 November 2018.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus bidh e a’ toirt seachad comhairle air poileasaidhean coilltearachd agus air riaghladh. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta as leth Ministearan na h-Alba.
  3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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International Parks conference focuses on young people

Forestry Commission Scotland’s team from the Highlands and Islands Conservancy is joining 500 European in Aviemore (18-21 September) for the annual EUROPARC Conference.

Being staged in Scotland’s Year of Young People the conference is looking at the mutually beneficial relationship between young people and the natural environment.

The FCS team is highlighting the importance of Scotland’s native woodlands, particularly our national tree - Scot’s pine. As well as explaining to delegates the importance of Scots pine for timber, biodiversity and recreation, particularly in the Cairngorms National Park, the team will also highlight the historic and cultural importance of Scots pine and what conservation work is being carried out by landowners.

John Risby, the Conservator for the area, said;

“Scots pine forests are emotive symbol for forestry in the Highlands. A key species for providing timber and supporting our modern wood processing industry. It supports rich biodiversity and illustrates the impact woodlands can have on a landscape that people come from all over the world to enjoy and some of these woodlands are the last remnants of the ancient Caledonian forest.

“The conference will highlight the need to conserve and expand our forests to provide these benefits and meet future challenges head on.

“This is obviously vital for our woodlands but, as forestry is also the front line of mitigating against the impact of climate change, it’s even more vital for our young people.”

One of the FCS team at the event is Carlotta Souto, one of four Scottish School of Forestry students that are also employed on a part time basis with the Highland and Islands Conservancy team.

The students’ employment helps to give them relevant experience and a broader range of skills as they embark on a forestry career.

Carlotta, who is working with the Conservancy as an assistant Woodland Officer, said;

“I am delighted to be involved in this international conference.

“I have been helping organise the woodland field visit and workshop and I am really looking forward to discussing my experiences of Woodland management and expansion with other young people for across Europe.”

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of the Forestry Commission and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus bidh e a’ toirt seachad comhairle air poileasaidhean coilltearachd agus air riaghladh. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta as leth Ministearan na h-Alba.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Branching Out success in the Borders

Participants of Forestry Commission Scotland’s (FCS) Branching Out programme are celebrating after successfully completing the 12-week mental health and wellbeing programme at Hells Hole in Wauchope Forest.

The group of eight attended an award ceremony on Thursday 30th August in Hells Hole, where they received certificates acknowledging their achievements. Six participants also received the John Muir Discovery award.

Delivered by Borders Forest Trust and NHS Borders, Branching Out is an FCS award-winning adult mental health project which is designed to improve people’s confidence, mental wellbeing, and communication skills through a range of outdoor activities. 

The programme reached its 10-year anniversary in May and is estimated to have helped over 2,000 people across Scotland.

Nathalie Moriarty, Forestry Commission Scotland’s Branching Out manager, said: “Branching Out is a hugely successful programme and it’s amazing to see the results it has delivered over the last 10 years. It can be life changing for those who take part, they feel more confident and have developed better communication skills to go on and enjoy other local activities which help ensure they continue to move forward on the work they have already achieved.” 

Adopting a holistic, person-centred approach promoting ‘five ways to better mental health’, Branching Out takes place in forests, woodlands and other green spaces. Participants take part in a range of activities covering key areas such as bushcraft skills, practical conservation, physical activity, creativity and environmental art, and personal development or learning.

Led by qualified Branching Out leaders, participants benefit from the project’s clear routine, structure and non-clinical setting and enjoy three hours of woodland activities a week with each session adapted to meet the needs of each individual group. 

Jane Rosegrant from Borders Forest Trust said: “Borders Forest Trust is proud and delighted to offer the Branching Out programme in the Scottish Borders. Feedback has always been that the woodland activities have a very positive impact on participants’ confidence and wellbeing. We only wish the model could be offered more widely.”

Mike Cant-Pinnons from NHS Borders added: “As a service we value the work that has been achieved through Branching Out. It has benefited many service users over the years and we would like to congratulate those individuals who have completed the project.”

Originally developed and funded by FCS, the success of the programme has enabled FCS to pass the structured model onto partner organisations and provide an outdoor training and accreditation programme for leaders, which has been endorsed by the Institute for Outdoor Learning and NHS Health Scotland.

Forestry Commission Scotland is now working with 22 partners in 10 NHS board areas delivering up to 50 projects a year.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus bidh e a’ toirt seachad comhairle air poileasaidhean coilltearachd agus air riaghladh. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta as leth Ministearan na h-Alba.
  3. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6508 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Go batty in Larbert Woods

Join Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) in Larbert this Thursday (30 August) to celebrate International Bat Night.
 
Starting at Larbert Old Parish Church and ending in Larbert Woods, visitors can join FES’ Bat Walk and be given the opportunity to bat spot alongside community rangers.
 
Attendees can become a bat detective as the night draws in, using bat detectors to pick up echo location calls and identify bats they are seeing and hearing. The rangers will also give a presentation on the local bat species and dispel myths surrounding the protected mammals.
 
International Bat Night has taken place every year since 1997 in more than 30 countries on the last full weekend of August. It was established to encourage people to see and hear bats in their natural environment, promote the good image of bats and help create clarity on the facts about the nocturnal creatures. 
 
Andy Gallacher, community ranger at FES, said: “Larbert Woods is a fantastic location to spot bats and be given the opportunity to see them in their natural environment. During the walk, fellow community ranger, Gordon and I will talk about the different bat species and their habitat and lifestyle. We will also keep a bat count to see see how many different species we can find in the woods.
 
“People often see bats as a threat and don’t realise the benefits they bring to the ecosystem. They are one of the major contributors to keeping down intolerable night insects such as midges and mosquitoes. We have many fun facts up our sleeves about these fascinating creatures and welcome all adults and children to come along and learn all about them.”  
  
Event Details:
Date: Thursday 30th August 8.30pm – after dark  
Location: Meet at Larbert Old Parish Church Hall, Denny Road, Larbert FK5 3AB

Notes to editors

  1. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of the Forestry Commission and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  2. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus bidh e a’ toirt seachad comhairle air poileasaidhean coilltearachd agus air riaghladh. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta as leth Ministearan na h-Alba.
  3. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6508 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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