A bright future lies ahead for Scottish forestry if an integrated land use strategy undertaken by the Scottish Government is realised said Scottish Land & Estates (SLE).
Responding to Scotland’s Forestry Strategy for 2019 to 2029, which underpins forestry, farming and other sectors, 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.”
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.
“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,” said Dickson.
“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.”