New shoots for tree planting in Scotland

A year-long partnership project to improve the tree planting process in Scotland has set the foundations for a stronger forestry sector, said Rural Affairs Secretary Fergus Ewing today.
The Mackinnon Review project was completed in January this year and now a total of 21 recommendations are being implemented to make tree planting easier, faster and more transparent. 

Marking the completion of the project, Mr Ewing also signalled a welcome rise in tree planting activity across Scotland. New figures reveal that over 10,000ha of new planting proposals were approved during 2017, an increase of 3,500ha from the previous year.

In addition, Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) is actively engaged on a number of other tree planting schemes which could cover a further 15,000 ha of woodland. 

Mr Ewing said: 

 “Over the past 12 months a huge amount of work has been completed in order to transform the tree planting process for future years.

“I have been very impressed by the way everyone across the forestry sector has worked together and committed to supporting the improvements needed.

“I believe this work is now having a significant and positive impact on the forestry sector. This will help us all in our national endeavour to achieve our country’s ambitious woodland creation targets.

“The new planting approval numbers are very promising indeed. The increased interest and activity around woodland creation is very welcome. The Scottish Government is committed to driving forward tree planting programmes, whilst  ensuring we get the right trees in the right place.”

The Scottish Government has the most ambitious targets for woodland creation in the UK with 10,000ha to be planted each year up to 2021 when targets will rise, in steps, to 15,000ha each year by 2025.

The Scottish Government is supporting sustainable woodland creation and wants to continue seeing a thriving forest sector. The budget for woodland creation grants has been increased from £40m to £46 million in 2018/19.

The Mackinnon Review was led by former Chief Planner Jim Mackinnon with support from FCS’s Sasha Laing and James Nott.

The Mackinnon Report Delivery Group was set up to support the Review and consisted of representatives from other public agencies, the forestry sector and Forestry Commission Scotland.

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.