Forestry sector set for new legislation

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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.

Forestry contractor Simon Richardson begins preparations for planting trees on the hills above EwesJan 20 2010Rachel Norris
Forestry contractor Simon Richardson begins preparations for planting trees on the hills above EwesJan 20 2010Rachel Norris

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.

New organisational structures for forestry in Scotland are also being announced.

These changes will enable the government to better support the industry to create growth in the rural economy, mitigate climate change and develop the role forestry plays in health, education and recreation.

Separate to the bill, the government will create a new executive agency Forestry and Land Scotland and a dedicated forestry division within government.

Fergus Ewing, rural economy secretary, said: “Scotland’s forests and woodlands are among our most valuable rural assets and our ambition is for them to expand and flourish.

“They contribute significantly to our ambitious climate change targets, soaking up about 10 million tonnes of CO2 each year. They help to build growth and prosperity, contributing £1 billion each year to our economy and supporting 25,000 jobs.

“Our forests come in all shapes and sizes: productive forests, iconic native pinewoods and treasured native woodlands. Each is valuable in its own way.

"The bill and other changes will enable us to deliver our bold ambitions. Existing staff will transfer to new bodies as civil servants and I value their knowledge and experience."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 9:42AM
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