Positive vision for Scottish forestry would benefit from enhanced land use strategy

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Press Release

A bright future for Scottish forestry lies ahead if an integrated land use strategy which underpins forestry, farming and other sectors can be realised.

Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) made the comments in its response to the consultation on Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019-29 which was undertaken by the Scottish Government.

The organisation said it supported efforts to promote and develop sustainable forestry but recognised achieving consensus over different land uses was not always a simple process.

Katy Dickson, Head of Policy at Scottish Land & Estates said: “Forestry is a key sector for land-based businesses and the rural economy, and the private sector has a vital role to play in helping the Scottish Government achieve its increased tree planting targets. 

“We welcome the long-term approach taken in this new strategy document and believe the government’s vision for forestry is broadly in tune with the wishes of rural businesses such as estates and farms who will work to deliver many of these goals.  

“Where we would like to see the strategy enhanced is in decisions regarding land use and in particular, diversification from one type of land use into forestry. Many businesses want a mixture of farming, forestry and other activities such as energy or tourism on their land. We fully support enabling landholders in making the correct choices for their business which will then go on to deliver for the economy, environment and community.

“We would like to see greater acknowledgement from government that there will be conflicts around land use choices rather than see integration strategies developed which dictate what a land use should be. We want to see an approach which creates a supportive framework to encourage land managers to achieve a mix of land uses and recognises that compromise will often be required in planting the right tree, in the right place for the right purpose.”

To read the SLE response please click here.