Scottish Government’s commitment to forestry welcomed
The contribution of forestry to the Scottish economy is recognised in the Scottish Government’s programme for 18/19 published on 4th September.
James Hepburne Scott, President RSFS commented:
“This is an important commitment from the Scottish Government which will give some welcome stability to the forestry sector. It also sets forth a vision and ambition for the future. The RSFS will be happy to work with the Scottish Government in the development of the new National Forestry Strategy and to support the new arrangements for forestry as they move to implementation.”
The Programme for Government is available on the Scottish Government website here Programme for Government 18-19
Forestry features on p50 as follows:
“Forestry Scotland’s forestry industry is a future-proofed carbon negative industry that is worth £1 billion a year while protecting our environment, biodiversity and enhancing our wellbeing. We will plant more trees and make more of our forestry resources. We will meet our target of planting 10,000 hectares of woodland every year, and increase this by a further 50% by 2025. In the coming year, we will deliver a National Forestry Strategy setting out our long-term vision and objectives for forestry and woodlands and by April 2019 we will have new arrangements in place for forestry in Scotland.
We will manage woodlands and forests more efficiently with better technology. We will use remotely-sensed data to develop new information on tree-felling activity to ensure that Scotland’s woodland area is increasing and following consultation, put in place new regulations relating to the control of felling. To increase skilled opportunities for young people in forestry, a new Forest Machine Operators Modern Apprenticeship scheme will be operational by the end of the year.”
“We will also use the new Plant Health Centre to build our national resilience against risks posed by pests and pathogens to agriculture, forestry, horticulture and the wider environment.”