Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) manages the national forest estate as part of its work to deliver public benefits on behalf of Scottish ministers.
Part of this involves making the land-holding as useful as possible by selling relatively small areas of land (the surplus property list) or by selling larger bits of land to create a fund to enable us to buy other land in return (revolving land sales).
The two mechanisms have slightly different criteria for selection but for both we only sell the land if selling it will improve our ability to deliver public benefit.
Criteria for selecting properties for inclusion in the surplus property list:
1. Parcels should be relatively small - up to 100 hectares for open land and up to 50 hectares for forested areas.
2. They should be so located that their management is unduly awkward and/or expensive in relation to the contribution that the property makes to FCS objectives.
3. The property should normally not contain any significant:
- recreation facilities or significant public use;
- community interest and/or involvement in the management; or
- natural or cultural assets that would be put at risk by sale.
4. The criteria set out in paragraph 3 may be overridden in circumstances:
- where the considerations under paragraph 2 are overwhelming in relation to the benefits of retaining the property; or
- where sale will be to a community group or another public sector or Non-governmental Organisation purchaser where continued appropriate management can be expected.
Criteria for selecting properties for sale to create a revolving fund:
1. There will be no size limit.
2. The property will be delivering a low level of public benefits:
- relatively low public access and use;
- relatively remote from significant communities and with limited community involvement;
- no significant natural and cultural assets that would be put at risk by sale; and
- no prominent landscape features that would be put at risk by sale.
3. Priority should be given to properties where sale price is likely to be favourable in comparison with future costs, i.e.: properties which will be expensive to manage and/or will need significant investment such as roading.
4. Priority will be given to properties that meet the criteria and could also be sold for a higher price because they are attractive to an adjacent landowner.