News, stories and reports from Forestry Commission Scotland and the National Forest Estate

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, Mr 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.