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

Review of forestry planting approval procedures August 2017

Work to implement the recommendations of the Mackinnon review continues as we aim to reduce the complexity and cost of the tree planting approval process to deliver the national target of 10,000ha.


Key highlights include:

  • Progressing work to introduce a more regional approach to woodland creation. Interesting discussions have taken place with four local authorities in the South of Scotland to explore the potential for a strategic, regional approach to larger scale woodland creation, including Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, meeting with councillors and officials. We look forward to building partnerships to develop this approach. In addition, further work has identified woodland creation potential in Conservancies across Scotland to help monitor and adapt activity.
  • We are also developing a concept based on the accredited agent recommendation. To date, the working group has reached a good level of consensus on the general approach, which will identify and recognise individuals who are competent in specific activities associated with woodland creation. The group is currently testing and exploring the detail of how such a system will work in practice.

James Nott, FCS Conservator for Grampian and leading on implementation of the report, said: “We are making really good progress across all the recommendations, everyone is working together to achieve the common outcome of simplifying the end to end woodland creation process.”