Biodiversity is the diversity and variability of life on earth and our natural systems.

Scotland's forests and biodiversity

Scotland's forests cover 17% land surface – but support a high share of our biodiversity. Forest biodiversity conservation is part of the Scottish Forestry Strategy and Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.

We have a strong voice in both strategies. We contribute to the UK Biodiversity Action Plan as lead partner for six Scottish native woodland action plans.

We take on a wide range of work to enhance and conserve biodiversity. We do this by managing Scotland's National Forest Estate and encouraging good practice. We also carry out conservation projects in private woodlands.

The 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity

The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy Scotland's Biodiversity: It's in Your Hands, published 2004, aims to “conserve biodiversity for the health, enjoyment and wellbeing of the people of Scotland, now and in the future.” It sets out a vision for 2030 as well as objectives and outcomes leading us there.

The 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity builds on the original strategy. Along with Scotland’s Biodiversity – Route Map to 2020, it provides clear priorities for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment (RAFE) members and other key stakeholders to deliver the Biodiversity Strategy. These are identified as a set of six Big Steps and 12 Priority Projects.

Our Delivery Agreement

We've identifued activities we'll carry out to contribute to these priority projects. They’re highlighted in the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy Delivery Agreement (PDF 129KB). This will evolve as we deliver activities and add more.

The Woods for Nature programme

In 2008 we published Woods for Nature: Our Biodiversity Programme 2008-2011 (PDF 4Mb) setting out our to promote biodiversity in Scottish woodlands.

Read the 2010/2011 progress report (PDF 161k)

We've extended the programme. Woods for Nature next steps (PDF 386k) sets out actions we will take up to March 2014.

Species action notes

We've identified key threatened woodland species for action. You can find out about our work for these in our Species Action Notes. We're updating these.

Variety is the spice of life

Scotland is rich in biodiversity – from our seas to mountain tops. Nowhere is this more evident than our forests and woodlands. Wildlife is one of the things our visitors value most.

Variety is the spice of life cover image

Variety is the spice of life - Action for nature on Scotland's National Forest Estate

This publication showcases Scotland's biodiversity on Scotland's National Forest Estate.