Forestry bill to ‘catch up 50 years’
THE SCOTTISH Parliament will consider forestry legislation for the first time in its history after the introduction of a Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill.
The Scottish Government hopes Scotland’s £1 billion forestry sector, which supports 25,000 jobs, will ‘ benefit from the bill’s modern approach to forestry development, support and regulation’.
The bill aims to deliver ‘improved accountability’ and a ‘more effective use of Scotland’s publicly- owned land’. Separate to the bill, ministers will also create a new executive agency Forestry and Land Scotland and a dedicated forestry division within government.
Carol Evans, Woodland Trust Scotland director, said: ‘This forestry bill is an opportunity for the official definition of forestry to catch up with 50 years of improved practice on the ground. Modern forestry is no longer just about timber supply but about sustainable forest management, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, community engagement and tourism.’
Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: ‘Scotland’s forests and woodlands are among our most valuable rural assets. We will continue to work to ensure forestry plays a leading role in Scottish communities for generations.’