Tree planting re-enactment marks 100 Years of forestry
Lord Lovat and Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, today (9 December) joined serving and retired foresters at Monaughty, Moray, to plant a tree commemorating the centenary of public forestry in Scotland.
The event mirrored the planting in that forest of the first Forestry Commission tree in Scotland, by Simon Joseph Fraser the 14th Lord Lovat who was the first Chairman of the Forestry Commission.
Speaking after the event the current (16th) Lord Lovat, Simon Fraser, said:
“It was a pleasure to be here to help recreate the events of 1919 when the first Forestry Commission trees in Scotland were planted.
“It is ironic that the Forestry Commission, established immediately after the world emerged from one global catastrophe will, in its latest incarnations, play such an important role in addressing our 21st Century global catastrophe – that of the climate emergency.
“This tree planting today will help in the ongoing effort to raise awareness of forestry’s currency, relevance or standing and to enrol the support of people from all walks of life in planting more trees.”
Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, added:
“Forestry in Scotland has never played such an important role in sustaining livelihoods, communities, habitats and species and in delivering so many other environmental, social and economic benefits.
“Marking this centenary today is a gesture of thanks both to the farsighted people who established the Commission and to the generations of foresters – men and women - who have planted, nurtured and developed Scotland’s forests and woodlands over the past century.”
Retired Forestry Commission Scotland staff joined colleagues from Forestry and Land Scotland and from the Royal Scottish Forestry Society (RSFS).
RSFS President Nander Robertson stated:
“It was members of the Society who, recognising the need for a forestry service, joined with others to successfully lobby government for the creation of what became the Forestry Commission. Lord Lovat was a past President of the Society.
It is fitting that the Society which played a leading role at the beginning should be joining in the celebration of what has been a huge success story, with state and private sectors increasing the UK woodland cover from less than 2% in 1919 to over 15% today.”
A similar and co-ordinated event took place at Eggesford in Devon, where current Chair of the Commissioners, Sir Harry Studholme, planted a tree to mark the occasion when in 1919 Lord Clinton won the race with Lord Lovat, to plant the first FC trees in Britain.
Notes to Editors
1 The Royal Scottish Forestry Society (RSFS) was instituted in 1854. The Society has just published the winter edition of its journal Scottish Forestry. This is a special edition to celebrate 100 years of state forestry and contains articles reflecting the past, present, and future of forestry in Scotland.
2 The RSFS, in partnership with Scottish Forestry Trust, Forestry and Land Scotland and Culture Perth and Kinross have produced a filmed interview with retired Forestry Commissioner, George Stewart, who celebrates his 100th birthday on December 12th. George attended the tree planting ceremony.
3 Prior to World War I, Lord Lovat, along with his brother-in-law Captain Stirling of Keir, prominent members of the Society, published a report on ‘Afforestation in Scotland: Forest Survey of Glen Mor’ in 1911. This highlighted the potential for substantial afforestation in the Great Glen. It was to prove an influential document in the establishment of the Forestry Commission.
4 An early report on Monaughty Forest can be seen here.